Every Monday morning my alarm goes off at 8 a.m. I don’t bother trying to sleep in though, because you can’t hit snooze on the new library construction.
The library is expected to be completed by late 2018. This means the sounds of demolition and then construction will be outside 1940 Residence Hall all year, and likely, for years to come. As a 1940
resident I can’t help but grudgingly wonder why I wasn’t warned not to live there if I didn’t like demolition noise every morning.
Myself and other east wing residents got a front row seat to the brick-by-brick destruction of Barton Hall. After the first week of drilling, I began to wonder if the noise was just getting to me since I am not morning person. My suitemates and I began to openly complain to each other about the early wake-up call the demolition delivered.
Following that conversation with my suitemates, I talked to the guys next door, and although they did not like the noise they were optimistic about the plans for the new library. I agreed, since Paley Library isn’t very inviting from the outside—but the new library is still three years away. As a freshman, I’ll have to put up with the library construction for most of my time at Temple and only be able to benefit from it my senior year. I don’t hate libraries, but I think a good night of sleep is crucial for college students and the construction cuts that short.
I recently talked to 1940 residents living in the east wing about the demolition. When asked how the demolition had been affecting their lives’ a few commented on how early the demolition of Barton Hall starts. Two girls said college students stay up late studying but get woken up by construction, no matter what time their first class is.
The early morning demolition is not an ideal situation for students with morning classes, which may be why no future 1940 resident ever received a formal notice about it. I asked the group if they thought future residents should be better informed about the construction. Both agreed that they would have rethought living in 1940 if they knew about the construction beforehand.
When it comes down to it, the demolition does not completely ruin lives at 1940 but a later start time and an early notice about the noise would have been fair to residents who would have preferred to avoid it.
The demolition is not only a nuisance for residents but to other students as well. The attempts by the water sprinklers at keeping the dust at bay are helping, but sometimes cause more trouble by creating a mist down Liacouras Walk. The dust is also a significant problem for people trying to eat at the picnic tables by the demolition, hurting the food establishments along Liacouras Walk.
While the new library is going to bring a fresh look to Temple, residents of 1940 will have to live beside demolition and construction for the next three years. The students walking through Liacouras Walk and eating at picnic tables will have to avoid mist showers and dust particles in their food. However, as I said before the demolition is not completely ruining lives. If you ask a 1940 resident about the construction you will likely get a groan and a bunch of complaints, but I think we’ll adapt. A few years from now, we might stand in the center of the new library, proud of it, forgetting all the early mornings it took to get it here.
Zari Tarazona is a freshman journalism student. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.