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Morrill Tower roof construction means smells, loud noises

Student enter and exit Morrill Tower. The building is undergoing repairs to its third floor roof. Credit: Hayley Beck / Lantern reporter

Students enter and exit Morrill Tower. The building is undergoing repairs to its third-floor roof.
Credit: Hayley Beck / Lantern reporter

Morrill Tower residents can expect anything from loud noises to occasional odors over the next few months. They might even see construction workers out their windows.

Replacement of the Morrill Tower third-floor roof is set to conclude in mid-November after being in progress since Sept. 17, said Student Life spokesman Dave Isaacs. The total budget for the roof replacement is $360,215, and will be funded by Student Life.

Though the project was originally planned to take place over past summer, it was delayed, a university housing official said.

“Construction was originally scheduled to take place this summer. This roof replacement is a part of a broader project with the towers that had to be delayed to this fall,” Thyrone Henderson, associate director of University Housing, said in a Sept. 8 email sent to Morrill Tower residents. 

The project was delayed because of “schedule coordination” and because “the scope of the work needed to be resolved,” Isaacs said.

Despite the delay, construction on the roof couldn’t be held off too much longer — Isaacs said there were leaking areas that needed to be replaced before winter.

The roof had outlived its useful life and needed to be replaced in order to maintain the integrity of the internal spaces below it, he said. There shouldn’t be disruptions in the building as far as services or utilities.

The building was opened in 1967. 

Some Morrill Tower residents said they understand the need for construction.

Adam Cupito, a Morrill resident and zoology major, said for the age of the building, the university is doing a good job maintaining it. He said although the renovation is probably necessary, construction-related noises haven’t really affected him.

“I can’t hear the noises in my room, it is mainly in the lobby,” Cupito said.

Henderson’s email also stated that Morrill Tower residents could expect loud noises, occasional smells and a dumpster in the driveway around the base of the tower. He also said students should be prepared to see construction workers from fourth story windows.

Workers can be expected from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during construction. Weather delays might also lead to occasional Saturday work, Henderson said.

Some students living in the residence hall said the work is disrupting.

“The noises are really annoying during the day, especially when I am trying to do homework, it is distracting,” said Taylor Corns, a Morrill resident and first-year in zoology.

Not all residents have noticed the construction or the noises.

“I never hear noises inside, it’s mainly outside that I hear anything,” said Brooke Rieke Schanowski, a Morrill resident and a second-year in agricultural communication.

She said she doesn’t find the construction that disruptive.

“Overall I don’t think that the construction is distracting, the only difference is there are people on the roof. It would be more distracting if the workers were inside,” she said.

Some residents said they have yet to experience any strange smells.

“I can’t imagine what kind of smells there would be, but I think they would only be outside,” Rieke Schanowski said.

The occasional odors are associated with the hot tar that is used for the new roof, Isaacs said. 

Some residents said being able to see the workers outside their rooms isn’t bothersome, considering room windows are relatively small.

Nia Coleman, a Morrill Tower resident and first-year in marketing, said she’s not worried about workers seeing her through her window.

“I don’t change in front of the window anyways, I am more concerned with the annoying noises,” she said.

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