Apology over construction disruption

SCAN investigates the ongoing construction on campus, and the impact that this is having on students.

405
A Philosphy seminar takes refuge from the noise in a common room, photo James Gilmour

The University has apologized about disruption to lectures and seminars due to ongoing construction work across campus, in reaction to student and staff discontent over repeated cancellations of classes from the extreme noise pollution.

The Redesign the Spine project has been underway since July of 2016, and is currently estimated to be complete in Spring of this year. The university website claims that construction work has been planned to reduce potential disturbance for students and staff, and states that “Specialist tools have also been chosen to help minimise noise and vibration.”

Though the project has been estimated for completion in the Spring, this date has been pushed back multiple times. Some students have lashed out at the delays: “If lectures and seminars were disrupted during the day so that the work could be completed sooner, I would understand. Instead, these disruptions are still taking place whilst the date of completion is pushed further and further back. It just does not make sense to me.”

When asked about the issue of disruption to students and staff, the University apologised for the inconvenience, and insisted that the situation would be improving in the immediate future:

“We work hard to minimize disruption caused by development work and would like to apologise to any students or staff who are affected by noise.”

Another student complained that “seminar tutors are at the point where they have to ask the workmen to delay work such as drilling until after the seminar has finished, and I have had multiple lectures moved due to the construction work on campus”.

One student who has a visual impairment said that the redevelopment project was causing issues for her:

“The project is taking a long time and I understand it will be easy to access when it is complete, but the constant changing of routes has been difficult. I was once going to Mass and got lost as I didn’t know where to go as the diversions had been changed and I was not aware of this. In spite of this the facilities help desk have been helpful when I have had questions about any changes to routes”.

Work on campus has been extensive in recent months, with the installation of a new digital screen above the library, the construction of a 350,000 square foot health innovation campus to the north, and the ongoing redesign of the Lancaster Management School in the LUMS Space Project.

On the 2nd of February, the University announced it was pausing construction on the LUMS Space program in order to examine the costs and designs of the project and that it was re-opening long-closed lecture theaters to minimize the inconvenience of the construction work:

“We expect the current situation to improve once LUMS Lecture Theatres 5 and 6 are operational, which is scheduled for mid-February. Measures we have taken include installing soundproof screens across lecture theatre windows, re-scheduling noisy activities to take place outside of teaching hours and relocating teaching sessions to quieter locations.”