Administration prepares for noise, disturbances

By Eli Haims

Administrators are taking steps to alleviate concerns over the noise due to the construction of the Kutler Center for Interdisciplinary Study and the new pool, both of which are slated to open around Aug. 15.

The majority of the noise concerns have come from the construction of the Kutler Center, which is adjacent to history and foreign language classrooms, Head of Campus Operations and Construction JD De Matte. There have been few problems due to the noise from the pool construction. Some teachers have also raised issue due to the fumes coming from the heavy machinery being used.

A soundproof door was added to the Tech Center and a wall was added on the second floor of Seaver by the construction site.

“There’s a little bit of a noise issue up top, and the reason why we haven’t closed that off is pretty soon we’re going to be coming through the wall,” he said. “It would not really be cost effective to soundproof that.”

History teacher Francine Werner said the noise and the diesel fumes from the machinery were an issue for a couple of days, but the disturbances are not constant.

“I just try to overpower it,” she said. “Not much you can do. I think the construction will just go through different stages so there will be different noises at different times. They get done what they need to get done, and then, it’s not noisy.”

De Matte said there is a plan in place in case the noise on the third floor of Seaver becomes too much to be able to teach, including using the Emory Room as a classroom.

“It’s pretty annoying,” Andrew Friedman ’14 said. “Especially when the windows are open, it’s pretty loud, but I mean what can you do?”

Finals testing is impacted by the construction because of the loss of Chalmers East, which has become the temporary MiniMudd Library. Assistant to the Head of Upper School Michelle Bracken said approximately 100 seats were lost because of this. She said 84 seats will be added to the Dance Studio, and Ahmanson Lecture Hall and Rugby Auditorium will be used more than in previous years. She said there will be very little to no noise due to the construction.

“I’ve talked with [Head of Upper School Harry] Salamandra and [Head of School Jeanne] Huybrechts,” De Matte said. “When it comes to finals, we are either going to stop working or move work to another area or do a different type of operation, because obviously finals have to be done. Just like SATs, they have to be done properly.”