- Category: Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)
- Published: 06 April 2016
- Written by KERRY BREEN | COPY EDITOR
Construction has continued to take place in Edison and Howard Halls, disrupting some classes around the construction site and the flow of student traffic around campus, especially as the construction is ongoing.
According to Patti Swannack, Vice President for Administrative Services, the construction between the buildings will be completed by December 2017. However, until then, it seems like it will continue to disrupt students and classes in the area.
“For a very brief period of time [the construction will expand], to tie in lateral lines and pave the area that was disturbed,” said Swannack, referring to how the construction has expanded and cut off access to buildings from their standard entrances. This means that students have to plan alternate routes to classes. “Advance notice will be given to members of the University Community.”
The ever-expanding construction has been a sore spot for many members of the University, especially as they are told again and again that they will have to take longer, more annoying routes to get to Pollak Theatre, which is currently being used as the entrance to Howard Hall, due to the other entrances being blocked by the construction fence.
“If I want to get to any of my classes in Howard Hall, it always takes forever to get there,” said a sophomore chemistry student who wished to remain anonymous. “It was bad enough know how long it’s going to take to get to class. ”
According to Swannack, the expansions have taken place in order to install water and sewer lines that will be beneficial to the entire campus.
“We know it’s noisy, dirty, and sometimes smelly,” said Swannack. “We do attempt to do the worst of these tasks while students are out of the buildings and we are grateful for the cooperation that we have received from everyone involved.”
In addition to expanding construction, the classrooms themselves have also been affected by the construction. The construction is also loud and disruptive, with students being able to hear the sounds of ongoing work and interactions between the construction workers. The construction has also, obviously, removed the link between Edison and Howard Halls, something that many students appreciated.
“It was so much easier to get back and forth to classes, and you didn’t have to go outside in the freezing cold,” said the anonymous student. “Now, you have to go out through Pollak [Theatre] and then go all the way around to Edison, or walk out the back doors of Howard and make a loop around the building. It’s just annoying.”
According to Swannack, at the end of the renovations, the two halls will be connected again.
“It is harder to explain and easier to visualize, but both buildings will enter the lobby, which is the new entrance,” she explained. “This area is currently under construction and replaces the old link. It is substantially longer.”
The construction also mars Monmouth University’s campus, which is highly praised for its beauty and appearance.
“I’m just not sure about it,” said Ashley Ford, prospective freshman who was on a recent tour. “I’m sure once they have it all fixed up it will look nice. But right now it’s a huge mess. And I’m sure after this there will probably be some new construction project that’ll do the same thing.”
The end product of the construction will also include increased safety measures for the building, such as new fire protection systems. There will also be new and higher-capacity electric distribution systems, and the replacement of 50-year-old oil-fired boilers. There will also be increased fresh air flows, including a more than doubling of the available fume hoods, which are used for learning and research.
The buildings house both traditional and seminar classrooms, as well as computer labs. Classrooms can hold up to 40 students; labs can seat up to 35, according to Monmouth University’s website.
The construction is being done by Torcon Inc. Their previous projects have included building Monmouth University’s MAC. According to Swannack, they have also performed renovations to hospitals while services, including operating rooms, have remained open.
PHOTO TAKEN by Kiera Lanni