Letter to the editor

The realities of campus construction

In response to “GW: Keep your housing promise” (Nov. 3, p. 4), we know that, for many students, any level of noise in the morning is considered disruptive. The University is making every effort to mitigate the impact of construction noise near our residence halls and to balance the requests of students with the realities of construction work.

The University has taken a unique step to address student concerns about early morning noise and has requested that our contractors not perform “exceptionally noisy” work before 8 a.m. during weekdays and 9 a.m. on Saturdays whenever possible. Since this request is unprecedented, the University is working aggressively to ensure compliance. This does not mean that no work will take place before these hours, but this work is not to be “exceptionally noisy.”

To date, “exceptionally noisy” work has been defined as work equivalent to jack hammering. To help create clarity and transparency, we offer the following as a list of “exceptionally noisy activities” that will not occur before 8 a.m. during weekdays and 9 a.m. during weekends: surface scraping and asphalt/concrete demolition; filling of dump trucks/dumpsters with large rubble or scrap metal (soil is permitted); jack hammering; driving of piles; repeated/continuous honking/idling in vicinity of residence halls and loud/boisterous outdoor conversations within close proximity to residence halls.

Construction workers may arrive on-site before 7 a.m., but they are not permitted to actively work until then.

University staff and student representatives were at the Science and Engineering Hall site each weekday from 7 to 8 a.m. from Sept. 12 to Oct. 25 to monitor noise levels. They also made several site visits to the Law Learning Center Garage. The few instances in the early days of this effort during which they saw activities that contradicted the outlined permissible activities were immediately shared with the project team and corrected.

If you feel violations have been made to our early morning noise commitments, please e-mail talktogw@gwu.edu or tweet at @GWDOSHelps, and share as much information – especially times and type of noise – so we can immediately follow up with the construction team.

These efforts will be expanded during the final exam period, which runs from Dec. 13 to 21, and we will share that information with you later this month. Until then, please know how much we appreciate your patience and cooperation as we continue to make GW a world-class institution.

Sincerely,

Alicia O’Neil Knight

Peter Konwerski

Alicia O’Neil Knight and Peter Konwerski are the senior associate vice president of operations, and the senior associate vice president and dean of students, respectively.

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