Thursday marked the beginning of construction for a project that will attempt to repair the roof of Stevenson Hall. The campus community received an email notificationMonday morning informing them of the construction and another on Wednesday afternoon reminding them the project would be taking place.
These notifications are the latest in a series of emails regarding construction on Stevenson Hall. The campus community received multiple emails over the summer about the removal and movement of cell towers across the building in preparation for this roofing project.
Director of Operations and Engineering for Facilities Management John Duke, explained why this project was necessary.
“Stevenson Hall has three cell companies with cell equipment mounted directly on the roof. The roof has water leaks directly under this equipment. Facilities is addressing this issue with the new roof under this equipment,” he said.
The roof repair is happening after a lengthy effort to move the cell towers from the roof of Stevenson to make surethey are not in the way of the construction.
“The university has been working with the cell companies to have them relocate their equipment two feet above the roof line to give the roofing contractor the required space to do the re-roofing project,” said Duke. “The cell company equipment relocation has taken the most time to accomplish, at around two years. It is just this week that the roofer can now begin roofing work without the cell equipment blocking access.”
Students can expect the construction to make some noise, which may be distracting during classes, but precautions are being taken to ensure disruptions are kept to a minimum.
“For the roof project there will be some noise from the removal of the existing roofing material. A section of the quad sidewalk near the South West corner of Stevenson will remain blocked off to foot traffic during construction,” said Duke.
“The contractor will move material back and forth to the staging area near the south west corner of Stevenson, but must not block the fire lane with unmanned parked equipment for safety reasons,” he added.
Stevenson has also come under scrutiny recently after asbestos was found in the building.
Asbestos testing took place earlier this year.
Since the testing was completed, the building has returned to business as usual for most students, faculty and staff.
Duke says that this construction project was not at all affected by the recent asbestos controversy.
Professors who teach classes in Stevenson Hall were advised in the email outlining the project to keep all windows closed to try to muffle the noise from the construction, as well as to ensure that dust does not get inside the classrooms.
Hillary Homzie, a lecturer for the Communications Department, teaches a journalism class on Thursday afternoons, which meets on the second floor of Stevenson Hall.
“So far the work hasn’t affected my afternoon class, which I’m grateful for,” said Homzie.
Homzie contrasted the noise from the construction to the noise of standard campus maintenance.
“Frankly, the leaf blower was louder. While I was lecturing, I felt like I couldn’t hear my own thoughts,” said Homzie.
Homzie, a first-year professor at Sonoma State University, made sure to note how she appreciates how beautiful Sonoma State’s campus is and how much effort goes into making sure the campus looks its best.
Students reacted differently to the construction, with some finding it bothersome and others considering it a manageable, necessary evil.
“The noise from the construction can be disruptive during class; it can make it difficult to hear the professor talk,” said Jamie Crosbie, a senior communications major enrolled in Homzie’s class.
The construction is expected to be finished by Oct. 2.