BY DRAKE RHONE
Senior Jeorgie Smith, a broadcast news major, voiced her concerns on the Student Services Facebook page by complaining about the STEM construction on campus.
The hall will house the School of Education, the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, and The Robert D. and Billie Ray Center.
Earlier in the construction phase, Smith said that the removal of the greenhouse affected one of her classes.
“The class is Moral Monsters with Bill Lewis,” Smith said. “Bill loves to get input from everyone and will ask for opinions or break us into small groups. He doesn’t ever come with power points because he will write ideas on the board from the discussion.”
Since the class is entirely discussion-based, Smith said that the construction noises make it unbearable.
“The removal of the concrete was the loudest,” Smith said. “We were so close that a couple times the construction workers bumped into the windows, as if they were knocking. Luckily, it seems like the worst is behind us because the greenhouse has been removed.”
Smith said that even though the greenhouse is gone now, she is still affected by the construction.
“You’re also more likely to run into people leaving Olin because of the tight area around the doors,” Smith said. “This is why I worry for Lauren and Sheba, because I have a hard enough time navigating with my full sight let alone being legally blind.”
Smith said she was concerned about first-year Lauren Berglund, who uses her dog Sheba to get around. Berglund said that she and Sheba had to change the routes they take to Olin because they normally used the that is now closed sidewalk.
“I haven’t had too many problems with the fences,” Berglund said. “It would have been more of a problem if I was using a cane instead of Sheba. It’s a little difficult to find a spot for her to use the bathroom, but we can make it work. Personally, the noise is what’s most bothersome, and the smells of the equipment are also bothersome to me, but I have a sensitive nose.”
A representative from Student Senate said that it isn’t a problem that can be fixed right now.
“I totally understand the concerns,” said Nathan Paulsen, the facilities and technology senator. “We have to realize as a student body that a semester-long project is worth it year after year. STEM is a huge project, and it’s something that a lot of other colleges are doing, so it’s almost a necessity.”
Paulsen said that he addresses concerns on the Facebook page every day, but that much of the construction details are out of his hands and have to be dealt with by administration.
President Martin sent out an email to the student body on March 2 asking students to be patient in regards to the construction.
“Throughout the process we will have some growing pains, and I appreciate the community’s understanding that some temporary disturbances due to construction are a necessary function of progress,” Martin said.
The university is asking students with concerns about construction to contact Public Safety, who will direct students to the correct department.