Students react to new UI dorm construction

BY DI STAFF | SEPTEMBER 19, 2012 6:30 AM

Question: How is the construction to the new residence hall on the west side of campus affecting you?

Rees Hummels
18, Freshman

“It’s even more obnoxious for Hillcrest [than for people living in Rienow]. They just recently blocked off one of the routes to get up there; now, you have to make a really winding path and you have to go through all of their construction. It’s not blocked off very well.”

Odane Hanson
18, Freshman
Mechanical Engineering

“Not so much the noise but the dust, that’s what bugs me sometimes, like when they first started. I’ve got contacts, and I walk to Hillcrest every day, so it’s in my eyes.”

Chayton Quail
18, Freshman
Biology and Chemistry

“I don’t mind it much, though now that it’s cutting off that road, it’s making it a little bit more difficult to get here, but it really doesn’t bother me too much.”

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Construction on the University of Iowa’s new West Campus residence hall is causing some disruption near Rienow and Slater residence halls.  

The new building, which will be located next to Rienow, is slated to open for residents in the spring of 2015. The hall will be the first on Iowa’s campus to be designed around Iowa’s living-learning communities, housing 501 students on 10 floors. The structure is designed to accommodate the communities with as many as 90 members — as well as those with a smaller population — in pod-style housing, consisting of clusters of double rooms with private bathrooms, a shared lounge and dining space, and shared study rooms.

The construction of the new dorm has been tailored to minimize its effect on students living in nearby Rienow, Slater, and Hillcrest. UI Housing and Dining Director Von Stange told The Daily Iowan in a July interview officials put specific restrictions on the hours in which construction crews may work.

“One of the stipulations of the contract is not to allow work early in the morning, so that during the school year, students will not hear noisy construction equipment at 7 a.m.,” Stange said in an article this past summer.

He said the construction workers are only allowed to work between the hours of 8 a.m. and 7 p.m., with no work allowed during the week before finals week and finals week itself.

This week, The Daily Iowan spoke to some students who have been forced to deal with the construction. And while some said the project has had relatively little effect on their activity, others acknowledged the disruption.

— by Matt Starns

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