Village IV construction on schedule, but not music to students’ ears

By on February 28, 2007

Students living on campus will have to wear their earplugs a little longer since despite recent wintry weather, the Village IV construction project is staying on schedule and within budget.

Quinnipiac hopes to prepare the majority of the residence halls that are now under construction for occupancy in August. The rest of the dorms in the construction project are scheduled to open for residents within two months afterward.

“I think the project should be completed by mid-October,” said Joe Rubertone, associate vice president for facilities administration.

According to Rubertone, construction workers from FIP construction have poured the foundations for a substantial number of the buildings, have begun framing four buildings and have started site work for all 11 buildings that constitute the construction project.

Once the construction is completed, the Village residence halls will extend from The Ledges to The Commons and will be parallel to the Hilltop parking lot. The new buildings will mirror the current Village buildings.

Rubertone said the construction is proceeding at a very ambitious pace.

“I’d say the project is moving along well and that we have benefited from the excellent weather up to the early part of January,” Rubertone said.

He also said that Quinnipiac is eager to complete the project as soon as possible and that he expects the cost, approximately $28 million, to be within the proposed budget. “We continue to look for ways to improve the schedule,” he added.

In an interview with The Chronicle in September, Rubertone acknowledged that certain aspects of the construction would cause aggravation for students. “The primary difficulties have been the proximity of the construction site to the other residency halls,” Rubertone said.

Such proximity has led to noise complaints.

“You’re woken up at 7:30 every morning,” said Joe Montano, a resident of Village and a junior marketing major.

According to Rubertone, the excessive noise comes from site work that is necessary to excavate foundations for the buildings. The university had hoped to finish site work prior to the conclusion of winter break.

Andy Clark, the Student Government Association vice president for student concerns, said the number of noise complaints that have been expressed to the 41-member body has decreased from last semester to this semester.

However, complaints are now coming from students who currently live in The Commons. “We got a few from Commons because Commons was starting to get affected second semester,” Clark said.

Dennis Lue Yat, residence hall director for The Commons, distributed earplugs to his residents to alleviate aggravation from the noise. Also, e-mails were sent to Commons residents alerting them to the construction.

Sophomore communications major Justin Cohen hears the construction in his room in The Commons. “When I get back from class, it is a little bothersome sometimes,” he said.

In addition to the noise, several large cranes, mounds of dirt and metal fences detract from the aesthetic beauty of the Quinnipiac campus.

Sophomore psychology major Natalia Oliveira has a nickname for the area around her Village residence. “We call it the slums of Village,” she said.

Also, the construction has limited the number of parking spaces available in the Hilltop parking lot. According to Ron Colavolpe, the assistant chief for parking and transportation, Quinnipiac has removed 174 parking spaces as a result of the construction.

None of these spots will return to use by students before the end of the academic year. The construction will result in the permanent removal of 10 of these parking spaces.

Despite these difficulties, the benefit of the Village IV construction is obvious at a university where many students consider the dorms to be overcrowded. Once the construction is complete, there will be 330 new beds on campus, nearly doubling the current number of Village residents of 336.

Some students are pleased about the long-term value of the construction, but still exhibit annoyance toward it.

“It’s a good idea. I just think they should be more courteous to students who live here already,” said Kevyn Kilgore, a resident of Village and a communications major.

As for Cohen, he is excited at the prospect of living in the new Village residence halls next year. “It’s a minor inconvenience knowing that it is new housing,” he said.


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