$5.8 million project causes inconvenience on campus


Amelia Schafer

Construction has been in progress beside Dunn Library since the semester first began.

by Morgan Parrish, Staff Reporter

Over the summer, construction began between Dunn Library and Pfeiffer Dining Hall to improve cooling and heating capabilities throughout campus facilities. The ongoing construction has led to some minor inconveniences for students walking throughout campus. 

The project cost the college $5.8 million dollars and involved upgrading and moving underground chillers and boilers to the utility room in Dunn Library, essentially making the systems easier to maintain. This project is part of the college’s energy management project which included other initiatives such as solar panels over Kent Campus Center. 

The project has caused some inconvenience for first-year students living in Barker Residence Hall and staff who work in Dunn Library, as it happens to be in a popular walking path for students who live in Barker and for people who park in the Dunn parking lot.

“The overall project will produce substantial dollar-savings and energy efficiencies for years to come. The $5.8 million dollar project guarantees annual savings on utilities and operational costs,” said Philip Peña, Vice President of Business and Finance and Chief Financial Officer at Simpson College. 

First-year student Hannah Duncan, a biology major, said that the construction has affected her for two reasons.

“For a while, a lot of the equipment was blocking off parking spaces in the Barker parking lot, which was frustrating. It has also made it quite a challenge to get to classes,” Duncan said. “For a while, we had to walk all the way around the dining hall or around Wallace to get into the library.”

Not only does this construction interfere with the way students get to class, but it is also a noisy project that is right outside their residence hall. Some students don’t hear it all, while others have heard it often.

“It is loud sometimes,” Duncan said. “Usually, in the morning I can hear it from my room.”

First-year Gabriela Garcia Medina, a neuroscience major, said the construction has been inconvenient when walking to class, but the noise hasn’t affected her at all. 

“I have to take longer routes to class, but I enjoy the scenery along the way,” Medina said. “I have not been able to hear any noises in my dorm, so I am unaffected by that.”

Stephanie Neve, Director of TRIO Student Support Services, is located in Dunn Library on the north side of the building right above the construction site. 

“Surprisingly, I don’t think it’s been particularly loud or distracting this time around,” Neve said. “The bigger ‘challenge’ has been needing to take an alternate route from the parking lot to the building when one route is closed off due to the construction.”

Several students, faculty and staff may not enjoy taking different routes to class or work, but they all agree that the project is still worth it. 

“I do think the project is still a good thing. It just would have been nice if it wasn’t going on while everyone is on campus,” Duncan said. 

“I believe the construction is a good thing because everything is always changing; this time, it was the heating and cooling systems,” Medina said. 

More details about the project, including completion date, production costs and an overview of the importance of the construction will come out next week.