Construction projects anger students

first_imgConstruction work has been continuously disrupting the lives of students with some Oxford colleges providing no compensation for the distress.Wadham, Somerville, Christ Church, St Peter’s and LMH have all been undergoing building works with the noise pollution disturbing students’ revision for exams.The noise from the building site in Wadham’s back quad has prompted some students to request alternative accommodation arrangements, as the rooms close-by have proved impossible to work in.One Wadhamite commented, “The noise during the day has driven one of my housemates out of our staircase, and the noise almost drove me out as I could not work in my room.”He added, “No compensation was offered, or even talked about, which from a college the size of Wadham was unexpected.”Residents of Staircase 9 have also suffered from visual pollution with the view on the lawn replaced by a dusky building site. The construction works have made access to the rooms very difficult.One inhabitant of the staircase complained, “The works have turned our staircase from one of the best located, opening out onto a green lawn, to one of the most remote and inaccessible…Additionally, the view upon leaving the staircase is of the grey wooden fence which surrounds the site.”The college authorities were unavailable to comment.Somerville students have been disturbed by the drilling noise from the development of Radcliffe Observatory Quarter. The construction site backs onto Somerville College, and the early morning drilling has infuriated students.Grace Benton, a 2nd year Somerville student complained, “My room backs onto it so when they’re doing drilling I get woken at eight by my room vibrating. Quite a lot of other people have said the same.” Working in the library is not an option for those hoping for a quiet place to revise. Hannah McDougall, a third year historian pointed out, “It’s so inconvenient that every time you go into the library all you can hear is drilling. The desks shake.”The building project includes the development of a new humanities centre, along with a Mathematical Institute and additional accommodation for Somerville students. The dates for completion of the project have not been confirmed, since the planning process is ongoing.The University has explained that the work carried out is the demolition of existing buildings. “The work has been discussed with both the adjoining colleges, as part of an ongoing dialogue on all work we intend to carry out on the site. At Somerville, they have moved students nearest to the noise when particularly noisy work has been going on and they have been involved throughout the work and informed about what is happening when”, the spokesperson has explained.Students at Christ Church have also struggled to cope with the noise pollution. The renovation work to the library on Peckwater’s quad has caused many difficulties to finalists. One Christ Church historian commented, “though I understand the necessity of the work, its timing, which so neatly coincides with a hundred students’ finals, is impeccably awful – some people still manage to work in the library, but god knows how. Builders’ chat whilst leaning against your window isn’t exactly helpful either.”Students have not been compensated for the inconvenience.Other colleges have been more responsive to the demands of students. St Peter’s offered reduced rent for the renovation work done on a college staircase.JCR President, Sanjay Nanwani explained, “The entire project was very professionally run with adequate signage and notice given to students. Prior to the work, there was an agreement that there may be a need for compensation for any inconvenience or disruption to students.”LMH students have also been disrupted by the ongoing construction work, which started in February 2008. Although the building of new undergraduate accommodation has already run over schedule, it is thought it will be finished later this year.Arrangements were made by the college to minimise disruption by ensuring the noisier work was scheduled over the vacation periods. Students were also made aware of the likelihood of disturbances in accommodation close to the site before room selection took place last year.JCR President Sourav Choudhury expressed satisfaction with the manner in which the college carried out the process, explaining that the college has accepted applications for rebates from students. He pointed out, “each application was considered on a case by case basis with myself present to ensure transparency and fairness.”“As well as this, the domestic bursar sends a weekly email detailing the progress on the buildings project, and he has come into a few JCR meetings to field any questions or concerns that the students may have”, he added.last_img

Leave a Reply