Robin Wang, Staff Photographer

With the construction that has become a ubiquitous element of River Campus life continuing and contractors trying to adhere to tight completion deadlines, these projects have little leeway in terms of setbacks. The new residence hall adjacent being built to Towers — which is slated to be finished in August 2012 — experienced such a setback, however, during the recent pile-driving phase of the project.

Towers residents initially received an email from Robert Bones, the Residential Life area coordinator for Towers and Riverview, on Oct. 3, stating that the pile driving process was set to begin on either Oct. 11 or Oct. 12. Then, on Oct. 18., they received another email from Bones saying that the process would “begin in earnest” on Oct. 20.

On Oct. 28, Director of Residential Life and Housing Services Laurel Contomanolis sent Towers residents yet another email, stating that the pile-driving process had been complicated by the existence of several large boulders in the construction area.

As a result of this, pile driving was not actually finished until Nov. 3.

Contomanolis acknowledged that these setbacks did “alter the timetable for completion of the building a little bit,” but was quick to emphasize that it would still open in time to be a student housing option next fall.

“The contractor is really on board and knows that we’ve got to have this building [ready] in August,” she said. “I wouldn’t worry about that.”

According to Contomanolis, however, some measures will have to be taken in order to make up for lost time. For one, the construction crew will likely be working a little later into the evenings in the coming weeks.

She said that although construction officially lasts until 5 p.m. every day, workers have been trying to pack up at around 3:30 or 4 p.m. when possible. She suggested that the actual end times might now be pushed back to 5 or 6 p.m., and said that the contractor would be allowed to bring in extra lighting if it becomes necessary for them to work into these hours.

Contomanolis said that these changes to the construction schedule have not influenced Residential Life’s stance on giving Towers residents a partial refund on their housing costs or an extra half point in the housing lottery — suggestions that have been made by some of the more aggrieved residents.

“It’s not like we’re starting at 4 a.m. and going until 11 or 12 [p.m.],” she said. “We’re trying to do some things to keep the construction at reasonable levels.”

Fleming is a member of
the class of 2013.

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