Ongoing construction on the new Interdisciplinary Science Building (ISB) has caused noise and construction woes for students in Pearson House.
In a statement given by Webster News, all parking spots in the parking garage that were blocked because of construction would be opened by the end of the week of Feb. 5. Those parking spots were made available as planned, but Pearson’s parking lot is now closed permanently.
“Both the parking garage and ISB are still on schedule. The parking garage tentatively will be completed during Spring 2, and the ISB during the summer,” Patrick Giblin, Webster’s director of public relations, said.
The Pearson House parking lot being closed has caused inconvenience for students and professors both in and out of classroom. Kate Wylie, a junior English major, has taken over 20 classes in the Pearson house in her time at Webster, including four this semester. She said the construction has become a major distraction in her learning experience.
“Oh my god, it’s the worst. Being in classes in the Pearson House has become so, almost unbearable, because of the noise and just being able to see people out the windows and the giant crane swinging over the building all the time. It’s hugely distracting for classes,” Wylie said. “The air horn has become a running joke inside Pearson House. Anytime a professor will say something, and then the air horn will go off, we take it as a sign of agreement from the construction workers.”
One of the classes Wylie is enrolled in this semester, that is being taught in Pearson House, is an Advanced Creative Writing Poetry Workshop. English professor David Clewell teaches the course and expresses the same struggles when teaching.
“The problem here, for me, is more along the lines of poetry and construction sounds not always making for a happy mix in the classroom,” Clewell said in an email.
Clewell also acknowledged that the university really needs the new building and you can’t build a new building with total silence.
The construction has also lead to many parking issues for students taking classes in Pearson House. With the lot closed, parking options are limited to the parking garage, the music building parking lot, the Sam Priest House parking lot and the Old Orchard lot.
“You can park in the garage, but it just takes too long to get around the construction from the garage,” Wylie said. “You can park in music building lot and if the Sam Priest lot is full and there’s no way you’re going to get a spot, parking down at the Old Orchard lot is really popular, but I don’t do that because I am too paranoid about getting my car towed.”
Wylie said if she were to park in the garage, the fastest route to get to the Pearson House would be to walk around to Big Bend Road and come back to the Pearson House driveway. If not parked in the garage, she’d have to walk all the way across campus.
Wylie lived five minutes away for two and a half years until moving into a new apartment this semester. Now, her commute time is 15-20 minutes long. She said the longer commute has forced her to change her routine in the morning to be able to get a parking spot and get to class on time. She has been late to class multiple times this semester and once last semester for classes she is taking in Pearson House.
“It’s really tough because you really do have to play your odds about going to the garage and getting here 20-30 minutes before your class starts to be able to find a spot in the garage. Especially if you have a class after 11 a.m.,” Wylie said. “It’s really a gamble whether or not you’re going to find a spot in the garage, park, get around the construction because you can’t get through EAB now, you have to go around EAB, and then get to class on time… It is really stressful.”