Construction paths upset UVM community

Changes in traffic patterns and increased noise on campus from construction have caused concern among community members.


Students and staff are frustrated with the impacts the construction has been having on daily life.


“Last year when I would walk to Trinity I could go by the hospital and it was shorter, so now it’s just longer…now I have to walk in a big circle around it,” sophomore Dayna Presco said.


“The path that they allow people to walk on has changed so much and it changes everyday so you never know if you’re going to be able to get from point A to point B the same way you did the day before,” graduate student Garvin Gaston said.


The fences that surround the construction and block off pathways are important for the safety of student, staff and anyone else walking around campus, which is the main concern for the construction staff, Robert B. Vaughan, director of Capital Planning and Management, said.


For the most part, students and staff have been very understanding about the construction and have been good about following new pathways, although there have been some complaints about noise, Vaughan said.


“I’ve definitely had classes I’ve been in be interrupted by the construction,” Gaston said. “Right now I have a class in Lafayette in the bottom floor and it’s right up against where all that construction is taking place and it is so loud. As a student it’s distracting [and] I could not imagine standing up there and having to teach while all that noise is going on.”


“For the most part it doesn’t bother me while I’m walking around campus,” first-year Caroline Schryver said, “but the noise can be distracting while I’m in class.”


The on-campus construction is on schedule to be completed as predicted, Vaughan said.


Phase one of the STEM complex, which houses the lab building and will be home to teaching and research labs for chemistry, organic chemistry, biology, physics and engineering, is scheduled to be completed by May 2017; first-year housing by summer 2017, Vaughan said.


“[First-year housing] will get to the point of getting ready for students to move in in the beginning of August,” he said.


All construction on campus, including demolition of the Cook building and phase two of the STEM complex, which will house offices, should be completed by 2019, Vaughan said.
The work on both the STEM complex and the first-year housing can be viewed via live webcams through the Provost’s website and is being shown off through guided tours of the new buildings.