The words “What’s happening to Burton Hall?” appear on several flyers throughout the residence hall. And walking by the machinery and plywood out front, you might have asked yourself the same question.
The posters also include a diagram of the roof of the hall, with labels detailing ongoing construction on the roof and, more specifically, the chimneys.
“Unfortunately, the building’s original chimneys are coming loose,” the flyers read. “They’re leaning and have become a safety hazard, so they need to be removed.”
Contractors have begun the work of removing the chimneys, said Alan McNiff, the director of River Campus Facilities and University Properties. The construction, which began on Halloween, aims to decrease the structural weight on the lower sections of the chimneys by removing the top sections, McNiff wrote in an email. Such reconstruction is needed because of the building’s old age, he continued. Burton was originally built and opened in 1930, making the hall almost a century old, according to the University Facilities and Services website.
The project has caused five students and one RA to be temporarily relocated. They will be able to move back into their rooms as soon as the construction is finished, a date which McNiff predicted will be before Thanksgiving weekend.
These students are not the only ones who have been impacted by the construction, however. Marie Kane, a sophomore living in Burton, spoke negatively about the noise of the construction.
“Sometimes in the mornings it can get really loud and very repetitive,” she said. “I’d say that’s the only problem I’m having with the construction.”
Despite her irritation, Kane said that the renovations are good because the buildings need to be kept up.
Falisha Hola, a senior living in Burton, agreed that the construction is important but wished that management would look at other repairs in the dorms as well. She pointed to alleged bug infestations and malfunctioning washers and dryers as problems that impact students’ everyday life in the dorms.
Although the construction on Burton is set to end before Thanksgiving, it will resume in the summer, at which point the contractor will completely remove and rebuild the chimneys, McNiff said.
“But, don’t worry,” the flyers on Burton’s walls read. “Although most people won’t be able to see any difference, Burton Hall’s new chimneys will […] last for many years to come.”