The fall semester through the eyes of a City Hall resident

Media Credit: Desiree Halpern | Contributing Photo Editor

Fall semester in City Hall was riddled with issues. Here's a look at the problems they faced.

Residents living in City Hall have repeatedly said that they didn’t have it easy last semester. Complaints ranged from noisy construction workers to loss of Internet connectivity during finals week.

Read on as we break down the major events from the fall.

Aug. 27
An email informs residents that exterior painting later in the week could result in “some odors.” The email also lets residents know that construction will continue into October to restore the brick facade.

Sept. 5
An email notifies residents that contractors will apply sealant to the building’s bottom floor the following day and that the project will continue through the middle of the month.

“It is likely that you will notice intermittent odors while this work is being completed … Any odors, while potentially strong, are not harmful to your health,” the email reads.

Sept. 18
Rooms ending in 04 and 07 experience water outages from 1 to 3 p.m.

Sept. 24
A brief water outage occurs from 1 to 1:30 p.m.

Oct. 2, 3, 6, 7 and 8
An email is sent to residents Oct. 3 to correct false information in an email sent Oct. 2. Residents are alerted that workers will enter rooms ending in 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 16, 17 and 18 to remove window screens, complete caulking work and lock all windows and balcony doors for up to four months.

“It is likely that you will experience increased levels of noise as this work continues,” the email reads. “CampaignGW has white noise machines and ear plugs available to students by request.”

Oct. 9
The University sends an email to residents apologizing for prolonged construction in City Hall, explaining that the building is leased from a third party. The email also says that while the work appears to be “cosmetic,” it is necessary to ensure that moisture and air do not enter the building through its facade.

“To provide you with updates and address your concerns, we will have staff in the lobby of City Hall beginning Tuesday, Oct. 14, through Friday, Oct. 17. We also continue to work with Residence Hall Association leadership,” the email reads.

Oct. 14
An email says the University is “working collaboratively and expeditiously” to “limit the work during the academic year,” and that work will not proceed the following day. The email also says that University staff will be stationed in the City Hall lobby each morning of the following week to answer any questions or concerns.

Oct. 15
An email reminds students that City Hall is leased from a third party and that the University is working with the building’s owner to limit work during the academic year. Construction does not occur for the third consecutive day, and the email says work will not occur the following day either.

Oct. 19
An email to City Hall residents says noisy work to the building’s exterior will be “deferred to summer 2015.”

Nov. 4
Elevator No. 3 breaks down, but is fixed by the end of the day, along with elevator No. 2. Elevator No. 1, which hasn’t functioned since Oct. 17, remains out of service.

Nov. 13
An email to residents says that “technicians and engineers” are working to fix elevator No. 1 and “anticipate its return to service as soon as the necessary parts are received and installed.”

Elevators No. 2 and No. 3 are functioning “consistently,” according to the email. Residential Property Manager Paris Rossiter calls the outages an “inconvenience.”

Dec. 1
GW conducts a planned “preventative maintenance test of the main switch gear,” which shuts down power from about 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Tuesday. An email sent Nov. 26 asked that students “please plan accordingly” and apologized for any inconvenience.

Gelman Library tweets its support:

Dec. 2
At 5:30 p.m., City Hall’s Internet connectivity is “degraded,” the Division of of Internet Technology tweets.

An email states that as of 8:15 p.m., “Network has not completely been restored” and “GW Division of IT remains present and diligently continues to work on the wireless connectivity in the building.” The email cites “conflicting messages” from residents “who confirmed connectivity.”

At 9:04 p.m., the Division of IT tweets, “Internet access not expected to be fully restored in #GWU City Hall until morning 12/3 earliest.”

Dec. 3
City Hall’s Internet remains unavailable. GW keeps the Marvin Center open through the night for City Hall residents, and the RHA suggests residents study in the Milken Institute School of Public Health building, which is open until 11 p.m. and has WiFi.

The Division of IT tweets that wireless Internet will not be available for at least another 36 hours.

Dec. 4
Residents receive an update that “City Hall Internet services have been fully restored and are now operating normally” at 2 p.m.

Dec. 5
GW responds to residents’ reports of further trouble with elevators in an email: “While elevators #1 and #3 are functioning consistently, we have received reports of problems in elevator #2 (middle elevator) over the past couple of days. Each of these issues has been addressed. However, in order to fully evaluate the elevator and begin any necessary repairs, this elevator will be out of service for the weekend.”

Dec. 16
An email to residents details “limited maintenance and renovation work” continuing through early January. Scheduling this work during winter break is meant to “minimize any impacts to residents of the building.”

Dec. 18
GW sends residents an email with an apology and the promise of a $400 refund.

“We should have proactively shared information about construction and building amenities with you so that you could make fully informed decisions on your living arrangements … We thank you for your cooperation and patience as these issues have been identified and resolved, and we wish you a restful winter break,” the email reads.

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