Students gather in the Anatomy and Physiology study room, frustrated not only with the testing material, but with the noise coming from outside.The construction for the new auditorium and research labs in the Jeffords Center for Mathematics and Science has begun and can be heard all around campus.
“It’s obnoxious,” psychology major Kim Decker said, “I can hear it in all my classes.”
She pointed out the window and asked, “Do you hear it?” to explain how the noise interferes with her classes, and studying.
From the dull thudding repetitious sounds in the library to the ground-shaking ruckus in Jeffords Center, students and professors have to put up with the distraction in order for the buildings to be done by the time fall semester starts.
“I think if it persists in being disruptive, it will reduce what students learn on classes,” psychology adjunct Frank Goodkin said. “On the other hand, I don’t know what alternative they have. They can’t do it in the middle of the night.”
Goodkin added that he hoped it will “ultimately provide some benefits to students.”
The new auditorium will hold around 123 students, about 80 less than the current one, and will be part of the SMART classroom additions, similar to Herrick Auditorium.
“It’s very important (to be done for the fall semester),” science professor Mark Fox said. “We need the auditorium for the fall classes. If it’s not done, we have no place on campus to fit them.”
While Fox agrees that the construction is distracting in classes as well as in his office, he couldn’t be more excited.
“It will improve our lives so much that I don’t mind,” Fox said over the drone of the jackhammer.
After the auditorium is complete, the current auditorium will be converted into research labs for the science department.
“We’ve never had dedicated labs,” Fox said, something he’s been hoping for in the 20 years he’s worked at Castleton.
Up to now, Castleton students have had regular lecture classes in the same room as where they work on their labs.
Fox said that the multimillion-dollar labs will allow faculty and students to participate in research that could end up in a published journal. Faculty members have already received $150,000 from grants to fund their research.
“I’m willing to put up with noise and fumes to get labs that cost millions of dollars. I can’t wait for more (construction),” Fox said smiling.
The expansion of Black Science is part of phase three in the master plan, which President David Wolk has approved to help restore and upgrade Castleton.
Bill Allen said that this summer they will also be paving and putting lights in the South Street parking lot, also known to students as “Africa”. There will also be a cement sidewalk built between the parking lot and campus. Morril Hall will get a makeover from top to bottom while Ellis Hall’s front staircase will also be redone.
To make the crosswalks safer for pedestrians, they want to reduce the speed of drivers and light the cross walks.
“We’ll be pretty busy now that I hear myself say that,” Allen said about the plans that they hope to complete over the summer.