Construction complaints on campus

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The University of New Brunswick’s Saint John campus has recently become inundated with construction work.

Wolfgang Düchtel/The Baron

Between the ongoing construction of the UNB Saint John’s new health facility and the maintenance work being done to fill in potholes in residence parking lots, there is hardly a waking hour on campus where the characteristic yellow and orange of construction workers can not be seen. This constant flurry of industry has become an increasingly prolific inconvenience for students and faculty alike on the campus. The cacophony of noise caused by the construction has been distracting to students and has left many frustrated with the current predicament. It has also impeded many students from making use of various parking spaces around campus. Some students and faculty have even gone so far as to voice their complaints.

One student complained that “[the construction] keeps me from focusing in classes because there’s literally a jackhammer in my ear in class.” Another student ranted about how the noise pollution from the construction “makes it really hard to focus in class.” Some students with underlying medical conditions have been especially inconvenienced by the noise. A student who suffers from chronic migraines complained to The Baron that “all the noise in [her] classrooms makes [her] migraines insufferable.”

Wolfgang Düchtel/The Baron

Many other members of the student body have parroted similar complaints, and they are not alone in their frustration. Numerous professors have expressed their dissatisfaction with the current situation because of how the ongoing noise pollution is distracting for their students during lectures.

In response to these complaints, UNB Saint John’s Facilities Management issued an official statement to students. They explained that “in any construction project, a fair amount of preparation work is always required to build a strong foundation” and this is “the stage [of development] we are in right now [at the UNB Saint John].” Since “there is a certain amount of noise that accompanies [the construction on campus]”, UNB Saint John’s Facilities Management has stated that this nuisance to student life is “unavoidable.”

However, in the long term, the UNB Saint John has taken the stance that the advantages of the new healthy facility that is being constructed will outweigh its short-term disadvantages. So, while the noise is frustrating and inconvenient to students, UNB Saint John’s Facilities Management has asked that students be patient with them as they “work to make this exciting opportunity a reality.” 

Wolfgang Düchtel/The Baron

The cafeteria and its faculty situated in the Thomas J. Condon Student Centre has also
suffered a host of major inconveniences due to the ongoing construction. For instance, hot water access for the building was briefly cut off due to a mistake made by one of the construction crews on campus on October 26 which forced staff to entertain the possibility of closing down the cafeteria. However, luckily, hot water access was eventually restored, and the cafeteria was able to resume operations. The construction has also forced many cafeteria workers to park further away from the cafeteria than they normally would which is a considerable inconvenience seeing as how they pay to park on campus to begin with. Cafeteria workers have expressed immense frustration over the current arrangement.

Residents in the Dunn Residence building on campus have been especially impacted by ongoing construction on campus. Since several potholes are currently being filled in the Dunn building’s resident parking lot, access to the parking lot has been cut off. This has forced many residence students to park in the lots adjacent to their building which has made parking on campus even more congested than it was previously.

However, the UNB’s Saint John Facilities Management has promised that parking near the residence buildings will be back open by the end of the week. So, residents will not have to contend with this inconvenience for much longer. Facilities Management would also like to highlight the fact that the number of “parking billets available [on campus] still outnumber the number of parking spaces required on campus.”

Wolfgang Düchtel/The Baron

Thus, while the current construction projects on campus are an impediment to student life in terms of noise pollution and inconvenient parking, it seems students and faculty will simply have to cope with these problems for the time being. In time, the benefits that will come with the construction of the new health facility and the higher quality of the residence parking lots will make these short-term inconveniences worth the wait.

Matthew is a first year Bachelor of Arts student and an overall academic weapon. He's a big book and chess guy and his diet consists of exclusively toast and coffee. He claims he knows where Waldo is. Check in with him for the inside scoop.