Many residents of Kilgo Quadrangle are adding earplugs to their list of college necessities.
The continuing construction on the West Union has caused difficulties for many of the students living in nearby dormitories such as those in Kilgo. Residents have reported having trouble sleeping and studying in their rooms because of the noise caused by construction equipment.
“For the past month and a half, construction has been going on at all hours of the night,” sophomore Davis Lovvorn wrote in an email. “Plus, the floodlights have been pointed directly at my room.”
Lovvorn added that his room’s location on the ground floor next to the construction site means noise from the work frequently interrupts his sleep despite his soundproof windows.
Dean for Residential Life Joe Gonzalez explained that construction hours have varied throughout the project’s progress, but said that work should cease by 10 p.m. He said that the occasions when work has continued past 10 p.m. occurred either by error or because the work being done could not be stopped halfway through.
Gonzalez noted that HDRL has communicated with the construction project manager to minimize the use of floodlights.
“They’re supposed to be avoided unless the work being done demands it,” Gonzalez said.
In an email to Kilgo residents Friday, Gonzalez acknowledged that work was being done after 10 p.m. and disturbing Kilgo residents.
“I know we had at least two issues with that this week and I have followed up with each team to emphasize this expectation,” Gonzalez wrote. “My hope is no further transgression of this expectation occurs, or at least if work has to be completed, we are given ample notice.”
Senior Anh Huynh, who lives in Stonehenge House in Kilgo, said that she can hear construction workers yelling at each other as early as 7 a.m.
“It’s really loud all day and it goes late into the night,” Huynh said.
She added that making phone calls and doing homework while in Kilgo has become challenging, causing her room to become an unproductive space.
Huynh explained that these problems have existed for the entirety of her three years living in Kilgo. Although she has repeatedly brought the noise issues to the attention of her resident assistants, nothing has been done to address the problem, she said.
Junior Catherine Yip also noted her ability to do school work has suffered because of the construction, adding that she is affected most by noise between 3 p.m. until 10 p.m.
“It gets really hard to concentrate, especially when there’s loud banging or hammering but at times it would be inconvenient to go to the library,” Yip wrote in an email.
Some Kilgo residents believe the administration could do more to reduce the effects of construction on students.
“I think that Duke could have tried to do as much construction as possible during the summer and breaks,” Yip wrote.
Lovvorn wrote that he thinks improved communication could help rectify the issue, noting that he has reached out to his resident assistant and HDRL but did not see any changes being made.
“It just seems the construction company has completely ignored every administration guideline and ignored the fact that Duke students need sleep,” Lovvorn wrote.
Providing soundproofing for all of the rooms in Kilgo would prevent the noise from bothering students, Huynh added, explaining that the windows in her room can barely reduce the noise of the wind, let alone construction work.
Gonzalez said that HDRL has worked to reduce the impact of construction work on Kilgo but that some of the problems cannot be avoided.
“We understand that it has been very difficult for a number of residents and we appreciate their understanding and patience,” Gonzalez said.