House Renovations Prompt Noise Complaints From Students

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With the sounds of sawing metal and large trucks filling the air around Old Quincy’s Plympton Street construction site each day, students who live in surrounding buildings say that the noise from the renovations has escalated in the past few weeks as the renewal of the building proceeds.

Construction on this first “test project” for Harvard’s ambitious House Renewal program began this summer, but with students back in classes and dorms, many say that loud noises and early-morning wake-up calls have become an increasing reality.

Taylor C. Zangara ’13, who lives in a room facing the construction on the sixth floor of New Quincy, said she has been bothered by the noise, both in the morning and during the day.

With work beginning at 8 a.m., Zangara said it has woken her up several times before her alarm goes off.

“It’s annoying especially when it’s warm out and I have my window open,” she added.

During the day when Zangara is studying in the Qube—Quincy’s House library—she said the noise creeps up into the library as well.

“It’s going to bother me for the rest of the year,” Zangara said.

The noise issue, however, has affected residents of surrounding Houses, students say.

Andrew M. Garbarino ’13, who lives in a room in Old Leverett’s B-entryway with windows facing the construction, said he often hears little rumbles that remind him of hydraulic pipes.

Though Garbarino said the noise has never woken him up, he explained that it has bothered him when he is lying in bed after his alarm goes off.

Beyond the noise, most students have said that they have faced other inconveniences related to the construction.

Christopher M. Wankel ’13, a self-proclaimed deep sleeper, said the noise from his bedroom on the third floor of New Quincy is nothing unreasonable. Yet, he said it has become difficult to enter Quincy courtyard at night because the back gate that leads to Leverett House is locked at night.

Likewise, Garbarino pointed out that only one side of the pedestrian path on Plympton Street is open.

For Quincy residents, the lack of access to the Quincy courtyard has also been inconvenient.

Regina C. J. Hodge ’13 said she misses hanging out with her friends in the courtyard when the weather is nice.

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