As campus-wide construction continues, some students are becoming increasingly agitated and resigned to the prospect of additional disruption. While acknowledging the necessity of the construction, students expressed their frustration with the noise and aesthetic problems generated by the numerous projects.
"The benefits of construction are important but at the same time they're not taking completely into consideration the desires of current students," Will Voinot-Baron '07 said.
"To see the Quad with construction on it and to know that it's going to be there until I graduate is kind of frustrating, because the Quad is the nexus of the campus."
Three major projects are in progress. Renovations of the Walker Art Building and first-year dormitories Appleton and Hyde are adjacent to the Quad, and work on the old Curtis Pool, to be turned into a recital hall, is affecting the Dudley Coe Quad in front of Smith Union.
According to Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration and Treasurer Katy Longley, all three projects are on schedule and within their budgets.
"We've had some increases in cost because of the increases in price of concrete and steel," Longley said. The increases have not pushed the projects beyond budget, however.
Director of Capital Projects Donald Borkowski also acknowledged the effects of the construction, but stressed that the sheer quantity of construction is as abnormal as the location.
"These three all happen to hit at the same time right in the middle of the campus," Borkowski said.
Longley emphasized the importance of the work and was unconcerned about the perception of the campus by visitors this weekend.
"I think it's a good news story for the parents because they're going to see the commitment we're making to the program," Longley said. "I think you need to take the long view, that it'll be a couple years of disruption, but it will be a 30-, 40-, 50-year impact."
According to Longley, the three projects were not planned to be in progress all at the same time.
"We never planned to be doing all these simultaneously but since they were gift-funded, when the money comes in, we take the opportunity to build the building," she said referencing the art building and recital hall.
"The dorms are debt-financed, so it's coincidental that they're being done at the same time," she said.
The residents of Coleman Hall say the construction has affected them most severely. During orientation, many students were awoken early in the morning by the construction. In addition, many residents believe that some of the electricity used by the construction crews has been coming from Coleman, resulting in an increase in electricity use, placing the hall in last place in the College's annual energy-saving competition.
"The residents of Coleman are just as concerned about the energy crisis and conservation as anyone else, but it's hard to be an active competitor when our efforts are being hamstrung by the construction," said Proctor Will Hales '08.
Other inhabitants of Coleman said the construction was affecting their social lives.
"If freshmen were living in those dorms we'd be a lot less isolated," said Karen Reni'09. "We're the only dorm around here."