Students warned of drilling noise

The University sent out a pre-emptive e-mail to students living in three residence halls warning them of impending drilling on the H Street parking garage, after fielding student complaints over construction noises on E Street this month.

Construction crews started drilling three test pits Nov. 15 to prepare for the Science and Engineering Complex to be built on the site of the University Parking Garage. The University’s highest governing body, the Board of Trustees, gave the go-ahead to the University to build and fund the $275 million eight-story building in October.

“The drill rig [they’re] using will drive a bit into the ground every few seconds using a piston-like hammer drop to increase pressure. A sharp ‘pinging’ sound occurs each time the piston drops the hammer down,” the e-mail sent to residents in Munson, JBKO and Fulbright halls, said.

Peter Konwerski, senior associate vice president and dean of students, said the University took several measures to forewarn students about construction, such as posting notices in residence halls and on the housing website.

“The communication sent to students on Friday regarding initial site preparation work for the SEC project is similar to outreach which has been done for other recent GW campus development projects,” Konwerski said.

He added that students living near construction areas will receive updates through e-mails and monthly mailings.

The e-mail forewarning comes after some students were irked over GW’s failure to notify students of construction for a new Marriott Hotel adjacent to the 1959 E Street residence.

Some Fulbright, JBKO and Munson residents said they were happy the University sent an e-mail alerting them to the construction.

“The construction doesn’t really bother me. We already live in a city with tons of noise anyway, but it’s good to know,” Holly Boyum, a sophomore living in Fulbright, said.

The work, expected to last up to two weeks depending on the weather, will occur between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays.

Despite the initial site preparation, the University has yet to receive the necessary permits to entirely demolish the parking garage in preparation for construction of the SEC. Full destruction of the parking garage and Building K – also being torn down for the SEC project – will not begin until after the end of this academic year, Alicia O’Neil Knight, senior associate vice president for operations, said.

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