Construction noise in West Campus irritates students


Mengwen Cao

A West Campus resident looks off her front porch at a construction site across the street. The site's close proximity causes noise disturbances and traffic. 

Rabeea Tahir

A seemingly endless parade of construction continues in West Campus, attracting new companies to the West Campus area while vexing students who wake up to the daily sounds of hammers and engines. 

Construction noise, dust, unclean roads with nails and traffic are habitual sights in West Campus. Geology junior Hunter Gordon, a resident at Piazza Navona, said construction just began across the street from his apartment.

“They have been digging, pounding on concrete and breaking rocks starting 7 a.m. every morning,” Gordon said. “If I were taking classes right now, I would not be able to study at home.”

Raquel Zepeda, a VISTA Volunteer in the Division of Multicultural Engagement, said the dust piles on her doorway on Pearl St., forcing her to mop her home every other day. 

“Sometimes the workers park construction vehicles literally in front of my driveway for several hours, making it impossible for me to take my car out,” Zepeda said. “They are not very considerate.”

But the construction also has the effect of bringing more business into West Campus, leading newer companies to enter the area and replace older establishments. 

Paul Fricano, owner of Fricano’s Deli on Nueces St., said upcoming high-rise student housing projects were an important consideration when he decided to start his business in West Campus two years ago.

“In the long term, it is nothing but good for me,” Fricano said.

Fricano said he faced inconveniences with road closures, but had a good relationship with local construction companies who warned him of blockages in advance.

“There will always be a certain price you have to pay for a long term benefit of the whole neighborhood,” Fricano said.

Melinda Lawrence, a textile and apparel junior and resident at the Quarters Nueces, was bothered construction companies did not clean building materials from the road, including nails and screws that punctured her tire. 

“I felt a crunch and clicking as I drove on the road and there were at least 50 nails stuck in my tire and several others spread across the road,” Lawrence said. “It damaged my tire and the cost came out of my pocket.”

Lawrence said she has called the contractors, Rampart Construction, to file a complaint and written a letter to the company’s CEO, but had received no response. 

Rachel David, a public relations graduate from Texas Tech, moved to Piazza Navona a month ago. 

“I understand that they’re going to be building things because it is a college town,” David said. “But I feel like the complex could have been more open about this with their future residents.”

Follow Rabeea Tahir on Twitter @rabeeatahir2.