Thurston to undergo evaluation

Thurston Hall, GW’s largest freshman residence, is undergoing an evaluation to determine whether its exterior will need any maintenance or repairs.

Work on the dorm could be amended if students feel it starts to interfere with studying for finals, said Eric Hougen, project manager for the University’s office of business operations. Finals begin Dec. 14.

“We have told everyone that we plan to re-visit the work schedule prior to the reading period and finals, and make any (and) all adjustments necessary,” Hougen said.

But Hougen said he expects few complaints because the majority of the construction is not “noisy work.” Starting last week, teams of workers began an assessment that will eventually involve the use of mobile scaffolding, according to University press release. Workers will also suspend themselves from the building’s roof to inspect its window frames, sills and brick fa?ade. Inspections will be conducted from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“This process is intended to simply provide us with an up-to-date comprehensive look at the exterior of the building,” Hougen said. “The teams involved with this phase of the work are engineers, not repair construction contractors.”

He declined to discuss the cost of the evaluation but said “the University routinely conducts assessments of existing buildings.”

If engineers determine that repairs need to be made to the dorm, work would begin early next year.

“At present, the University would envision a phased schedule for any required follow-on repairs, with the first phase to include a engineering design and document production process to begin early in 2005,” Hougen said.

The University has received no complaints regarding the evaluation of the building, Hougen said, noting that several students have requested additional information.

Some students living in Thurston were unaware of the University’s plans. One freshman, Christina Ducruet said, “It must be a well-kept secret.”

Ducruet, who lives on the ninth floor, dismissed concerns that studying for finals might be impeded by the evaluation.

“It’s already hard enough to get work done around here,” Ducruet said. “I think that if people really want to get things done around here, they go to the library.”

Others, such as freshman Alex Funk, who lives on the fifth floor of Thurston, are worried about possible noise.

“It depends on what time they decide to do it at,” he said. “If they do it at 7 in the morning to wake me up I’ll be pretty angry.”

-Michael Barnett contributed to this report.

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