By Diana Tseng
Megan Hemlow stands in her residence room at Pitman Hall for the first time with her father at her side.
As a first-year Social Work student, Hemlow learns about the 7:30 a.m. wake-up call – the sound of drills gnawing into walls.
To Megan’s father it’s no problem at all, but Megan doesn’t agree. “It’ll be no different than when I’m in the garage at home,” said her father. “Dad, I’m here to get away from that and you’re not a teenager. We don’t wake up at 7:30 a.m. unless we have to.”
Campus Planning and Facilities sent emails on Aug. 13, 2004 to alert all staff and students of repair work to the upper exterior walls of Pitman Hall.
But the majority of residents, new students like Hemlow, did not receive notification. The work began Aug. 16 and will continue until early November – the beginning of exam season.
According to Ian Hamilton, director of campus planning and facilities, an audit is performed annually on campus buildings to make sure they are in shape.
This year, auditors found cracks in the south wall of Pitman Hall. Hamilton said that drilling being performed now “is to see what’s going on behind the walls.”
He added it’s the first time cracks have appeared in walls at Pitman Hall, which was built 14 years ago. The contraction and expansion of concrete from weather changes could be the problem.
“But we’re not sure because investigations are not done yet,” Hamilton said.
Similar repair work has already been done at O’Keefe House. Hamilton said the noise will be periodic, and work will be performed during normal business hours.
Many students, like Hemlow, wondered why the repair work wasn’t done during the summer months. “The repair work was not scheduled,” said Philip Lim, housing manager at Ryerson.
Lim said leaking was detected in Pitman Hall earlier this year, but the source of the leak was not found until July.
“It’s an unusual source and that’s why it took us awhile to figure it out. Normally leaking happens from the roof.”
After discovering the cause of the leak, a few weeks were taken to find and contract a company to do the repair work.
Hemlow sees two sides to the noise and repairing. “It’s good for our safety, but we’re paying a lot to live here and have a place to sleep.”