ANC supports proposal to allow longer construction days on East Campus

AU, community reach compromise on East Campus work hours

ANC supports proposal to allow longer construction days on East Campus

AU hopes to open East Campus in time for fall 2016 (Cuneyt Dil/The Eagle).

A proposal to extend construction hours for the East Campus project won the support of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3D on April 1, boosting the University’s hopes of finishing the site by fall 2016.

The proposal, now before the D.C. Zoning Commission, would extend weekday construction hours to the maximum allowed under city law, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The University would also be allowed to work Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting in September, in the event a weekday of construction is lost due to weather.

AU requested the extended hours after a four month delayed start to construction and after 50 workdays were lost due to inclement weather, the Eagle previously reported. Current hours permit general contractor Skanska to work from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

ANC 3D voted eight to zero for the proposal, with one commissioner abstaining.

When completed, East Campus will have three residence halls housing 590 beds and two academic buildings. If the deadline for completion of July 2016 is not met, however, the University will need to wait another full semester or academic year before opening East Campus.

East Campus construction was supposed to run from May 2014 to April 2016. But work started late in September 2014 due to issues with setting up a water removal system on the site, according to Linda Argo, assistant vice president for External Relations and Auxiliary Services.

The work hours proposal is the result of a compromise the University made with ANC 3D and Westover Place residents, a townhouse complex adjacent to the East Campus construction site.

In early February, AU originally requested construction work every Saturday, which some Westover Place residents resisted because it would mean possible construction noise on a weekend, the Eagle previously reported.

Courtesy of AU

To appease 72 residents who signed a petition against the proposed Saturday work hours, AU agreed to widen the landscape buffer between East Campus and Westover Place homes and also limit work on Saturdays. Six parking lot spaces were removed from the campus plan to make way for more trees 

“I want to express my appreciation to [AU], and also to all the residents of Westover for making this come about,” ANC 3D Chair Tom Smith said after the vote.

The D.C. Zoning Commission will vote on the proposal April 13, and the University requested in its proposal for the commission to skip a public hearing process and instead move straight to a vote. The extended weekday work hours would take effect soon after, according to Argo.

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