The Berkeley Beacon

Friday, July 10, 2020

Little Building construction continues

By Rebecca Fiore / Beacon Staff
October 11, 2012 at 3:17 am

Freshman Helen Schultz, a resident of the Little Building, wakes up at 8:00 a.m. every morning, but not by choice. Schultz, whose classes don’t begin until 10:00 a.m., isn’t woken by the sound of an alarm clock, but rather the noises of construction. 

“I hear a lot of drilling and music playing,” said the writing, literature, and publishing major.

An ongoing examination required to repair the exterior of the 95-year-old residence hall is in its final days. The assessment, which takes six to eight weeks to complete, started in August and should be finished by the end of the month according to Maureen Murphy, vice president of administration and finance. 

As part of the inspection process, workers are fixing damaged windows, repairing cracks in the walls, and polishing the face of the building. The procedures, Murphy said, are customary for a structure of its age. 

“The façade is one of the problems. [It is] inspected periodically,” Murphy said. “There are inspections two times a year. Those are scheduled to increase if needed around the summer and winter months.” 

Murphy said the noise comes from drilling, sanding, and re-corking the building, and she said the Ansin Building — which is located 180 Tremont St. and serves as an academic and administrative building—is under similar repairs, and sometimes the work can get loud.

According to Murphy, the repairs are for the safety of the students and necessary to keep the exterior of the building from deteriorating further. 

Murphy said she was unable to provide the cost of the inspections because they are part of a larger renovation plan for the building. However she said the total projected costs of the renovations to the Little Building could be up to $70 million, but that the number is subject to change. 

“We are in the process of reviewing options and estimates,” said Murphy. “The planning assumptions that have been in place are being revised and updated, which will impact the cost of the project. The process is not complete.”

In an email sent to students on Oct. 1, David Haden, associate dean and director of housing and residence life, said the residential hall repairs should end within three weeks if everything runs smoothly.

The email stated that the dorm rooms facing Tremont Street would be the most affected.  

The inspection employees have been informed to work from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on a Monday through Friday schedule so they don’t interfere with students’ sleep schedules, said Haden in the email. 

Some students have said the work is bothersome, while others are not affected at all.

Freshman Rachel Dickerman, a resident in the dorm, said the sounds of construction don’t affect her.

“The noise never consciously disrupts or wakes me,” said the writing, literature, and publishing major.

Freshman Karla Maddy, whose dorm room faces Tremont Street, said it’s uncomfortable to get dressed when there are workers outside the window. The email sent to students included a statement by Joan Fiore, associate property manager, advising residents to keep their blinds closed at all times during the work hours. 

Maddy said the ruckus is a disturbance and has been affecting her sleep, despite the newly-implemented work hours.

“I woke up at 6:30 a.m. [due to the noise],” said the writing, literature, and publishing major. “It was ridiculous.

Fiore can be reached at