Construction of the University’s newest building, Pozycki Hall, began in the field between Bey Hall and the Rebecca Stafford Student Center during winter break and will continue throughout the school year, causing construction inconveniences, Patricia Swannack, Vice President for Administrative Services, said.
In order to provide ample room for equipment and safety of the workers on the construction site, approximately 44 parking spaces in commuter parking lot 13, adjacent to Bey Hall, are fenced off along with the entrance to the lot coming from Norwood Ave.
The new traffic pattern and reduced parking spaces will likely remain in effect for the duration of the semester, according to Swannack.
Pozycki Hall will be an addition to Bey Hall to provide additional space for the Leon Hess Business School and the Kislak Real Estate Institute. It will consist of four classrooms, a 175-seat auditorium, faculty offices and a student lounge. The 20,000 square-foot structure is anticipated to be completed by summer of 2015.
Despite the temporary cut in commuter parking spaces, Swannack believes the construction should not act as a noticeable interruption to the student body. “Normally, there is less demand for parking in the spring semester than in the fall, so we anticipate the impact will be minimal,” Swannack said.
University students seem to echo that sentiment. Jessica Sayad, a senior communication major, said, “I’m always able to find a spot near Plangere. Parking over [by the construction] would be my last resort, and I haven’t had any problems yet.”
Although, Sayad does believe that to avoid any inconveniences the construction should have begun in the summer … “because it’s a little annoying to walk around the structure, but I can see why the campus needs it.”
Sayad also stated that she believes Pozycki Hall will help fill the need of more academic space for the University. “We definitely need more classrooms. Look at Plangere, it is such a big building, but it only has about six or seven classrooms in it.”
Rob Rubin, a junior communication major, said he has not had any problem finding a parking space yet either, but does raise some concern over the potential distractions the construction noise could cause during the semester. “I just thought it was a lot of construction to start over winter break. Depending on the circumstances, maybe they could have held off until the summer. It could be kind of loud by [Bey Hall],” he said.
Swannack does not anticipate the construction to interfere with the classroom environment and noted that the foundation of Pozycki Hall is only being set down at the moment and the heavier construction is still months away. “The actual construction will not begin until April 2014, so our goal is to get the building foundation installed and the frame up so that the majority of the work will be performed inside the frame, thus reducing construction noise,” Swannack said.
Gregory Bordelon, lecturer of political science, teaches several classes in Bey Hall and is confident that the construction will not cause a significant disturbance to classes during the spring semester. “It hasn’t been an issue thus far, and I’m sure facilities management have taken steps to mitigate [noise] issues during instructional times,” he said.
Bordelon continued to say Pozycki Hall will act as a reminder that the University is continuing to grow in stature and will serve as a functional space for academic instruction.
“Construction on a college campus is a very specific example of that college excelling. We’re building because of Monmouth’s continued upward recognition,” Bordelon said.
Pozycki Hall will also feature an enclosed bridge that will connect it to Bey Hall, making each building easily accessible to University students without having to travel outside. The bridge will be similar to the internal bridge that currently connects Howard Hall and Edison Hall.
Dr. Robert Scott III, associate professor of economics, teaches in Bey Hall’s financial markets lab directly below where the bridge is set to be built, and is mildly concerned that once that construction commences it could potentially impact the classroom setting.
“I’ve never taught in a building with construction going on, so I’m not sure how loud or disruptive it could be. They could potentially be doing things above the classroom,” Scott said. As a result of Scott’s fear, he hopes the construction over his classroom will not begin until the summer.
However, Scott is also excited by the new additions that Pozycki Hall will offer the campus community. “The auditorium will be another place to hold seminars and things of that nature,” Scott said. “From a student perspective, I like students to have more meeting areas. Downstairs in Bey Hall, we have some tables, which are nice, but I like the idea of students having more space.”
PHOTO TAKEN by Paul Williams