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$1M Math Tower construction half-finished

Andrew Holleran / Photo editor

Students and professors alike will have to wait until December for maintenance to be finished on the Mathematics Tower. The $1 million project initially expected to be completed in August, is only halfway done.
Construction on the Mathematics Tower at 231 W. 18th Ave. began on May 21 to repair the horizontal and vertical “soft joints” between the bricks on the building’s exterior. There was also work on the sealant to improve moisture protection. The original August completion date was pushed back to Sept. 28, and has since been moved to December.
“It’s generally not that uncommon to find an unforeseen condition in a project like this. Anytime you are doing maintenance or work that involves going beyond just the surface of something, there is always the potential to find a changed or unforeseen condition,” said Lindsay Komlanc, a communications and marketing director for Administration and Planning for Ohio State. “As part of the initial work, we removed some of the brick to look at the material behind the exterior facing brick that showed some areas where more extensive repairs and maintenance would be needed.”
Komlanc said there were also some delays in receiving construction materials for the project, such as replacement bricks, mortar and sealant that pushed back the completion date.
The Mathematics Tower construction is part of a project that includes work on the Science and Engineering Library. Komlanc said has cost $1 million so far and the maintenance work is half finished.
“There haven’t been any obstacles in the maintenance work since we know what we have to do, so far the project has been coming along good,” said Donald Howard, a superintendant for Midwest Maintenance Inc, the company handling the construction project.
Howard said the university made him aware of complaints from numerous professors within the Mathematics Tower about the noise.
Chris Miller, an OSU mathematics professor whose office is in the Mathematics Tower, said the maintenance work has affected his available office hours. Miller said the constant noise has caused him to cancel office hours for students.
Miller said the noise at some points caused him to leave work early and finish his work outside or at home. He said the noise has been at a reasonable level recently, but he has been facing other construction-related issues as well. At one point his whole office filled with dust and had to have it cleaned out.
Despite these issues, Miller said it is fortunate that these problems haven’t affected many students negatively, and he has a manageable class size this semester.
Some students said they find ways to tune out the construction.
“I just keep my headphones on,” said Gabe Khan, a first-year graduate student in mathematics. “Even with all of this noise, I enjoy having this nice building.”

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