Residents report numerous issues
The process of renovating the all-girl Patterson Hall into a suite-style dorm available to both genders is becoming much more taxing to students than initially expected.
Residents of the adjacent South Tower have issued numerous complaints to the university about their living spaces, and USC has cited the Patterson renovations as the cause in its replies.
According to USC’s website, the Patterson renovations will result in the addition of important structural elements such as “seismic reinforcement, sprinklers for fire suppression and an upgrade to the fire detection systems.”
Housing also hopes to upgrade the building to Silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. LEED is a program by the U.S. Green Building Council to create constructions with less of an environmental impact.
The Patterson construction is, however, having an impact on students’ college environment. It has resulted in weekly complaints from South Tower occupants about the quality of water and incessant noise from construction, plaguing students’ mornings and affecting their hygiene. Reports of brown, rusty and exceedingly cold water has fallen, according to some students, on deaf ears. Housing officials were unavailable for comment late Wednesday afternoon.
South Tower resident and first-year exercise science student Jinnie Lacker has experienced many of the aforementioned issues. She said the water can be shut off at any given time. If students are warned of these outages, she said, the hours reported have been incorrect.
Without water, students in South Tower are unable to go to the bathroom, wash their hands, brush their teeth, shower or do laundry.
Lacker mentioned that floods are common, causing water damage to residents’ materials. She said that earlier in the semester a pipe broke, causing a rainstorm of dirty water in the lobby.
“I was given a coupon for a free soft drink in August to make up for the construction issues, but that doesn’t make me feel better seven months later in March,” Lacker said.
First-year advertising student Molly Rooney, also a South Tower resident, said she enjoys the quality of people in the dorm, as she has made most of her friends there, but the quality of the housing is becoming a nuisance.
“Some days, I’ll walk into the lobby, and there will be huge trash cans filled halfway with yellow water from a leak in the ceiling,” Rooney said. “Who wants to come home to that?”
Many students also complain about being disrupted in the early morning hours by drilling and other machines close to their windows.
“Luckily, I live on the side of the building far from the construction, but I have friends who live next to it all and sleep with earplugs in,” Rooney said. “Sometimes, they say that’s not even enough.”
But a silver lining must be found in every situation. Here, among the silver crossbeams of construction and silver mold of pipe leaks, residents of South Tower must deal with the construction problems for just a few more months until the renovations are finished on July 31.