Gelman construction to halt during finals

Noisy Gelman Library construction will tone down during finals.

Disruptive work typically conducted between 4 and 7 a.m. near Gelman will be suspended during the majority of the final exam period, from Dec. 13 to 21, Senior Associate Vice President of Operations Administration John Ralls said.

Jack hammering, drilling and other “exceptionally noisy” activities at construction sites will also be pushed back until 9 a.m. on weekdays, similar to past years.

Alicia Knight, senior associate vice president for operations, is working with students to reduce the impact of construction on students. She addressed the topic at Monday’s Student Association meeting.

“Construction, by its nature, is neither quiet nor clean,” Knight said. “That is the battle we are up against. Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do to make a jackhammer less noisy.”

Knight said if students are disturbed by loud construction during a time where it is prohibited or is just bothersome, they should tape record the noise and send it to her office for potential action.

“What we try and do is deal with specific student complaints that come in when things are happening in hours that they shouldn’t,” Knight said. “It’s a combination of us setting boundaries and dealing with issues as they come.”

Knight said the office has received several recordings over the course of the semester and that the issues have been addressed with the constractors leading the construction.

Work will also be suspended at the Science and Engineering Hall site Dec. 15 – the only Saturday during finals – but Ralls said it hasn’t been decided if work at the School of Public Health and Health Services, the GW Museum and the Law Learning Center Garage would resume as usual that day.

Ralls said the University is striving for an open dialogue with students regarding construction concerns, both during finals and otherwise.

Student Association President Ashwin Narla said he would begin planning next week for alternate study locations. He said the main challenge will be ensuring the necessary space and furniture is available in locations such as the Marvin Center and Duques and Phillips halls.

“It’s a consistent worry, but the administration is ready to receive feedback,” Narla said. “I’m working to make sure that if a student expresses a concern, we take that feeling to the administrators.”

Not all students are concerned about the noise in Gelman. Freshman Oluwatosin Adewale, who has heard construction noise in the library before, said he does not think it will become an issue for students during finals.

“If you really need to study and you don’t want the noise, you can go to other floors, or you can study elsewhere,” Adewale said. “I hear the noise outside when I’m working, and yes, it is annoying, but it’s not so bad.”

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