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AU asks city for Saturday workdays at East Campus site

East Campus rendering (AU Community Relations).

Last winter, after losing construction time from bad weather, AU asked the city for longer weekday work hours at the East Campus site. Now the University wants to be able to work on Saturdays, lest the school miss its fall 2016 completion deadline.

AU filed a request with the Zoning Commission on Sept. 30, a copy of which was obtained by District Wire, to extend construction hours on the project. The request seeks to add work on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Spring Valley and Palisades Advisory Neighborhood Commission will discuss the proposal at its monthly meeting Wednesday night.

Since late April, East Campus contractor Skanska has been allowed to work 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays. Construction may also take place on a Saturday right now, but only in the event that bad weather stops work during the week. The original allowed hours were only 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays.

The University had 33 workdays impacted by rain from April to August, according to the University’s application to the Zoning Commission.

“AU and its general contractor now believe that their ability to maintain schedule and complete construction of the East Campus prior to the start of the fall 2016 semester will be impacted unless they are able to work each and every Saturday until the project is completed,” the University wrote in the application.

[From April: ANC supports proposal to allow longer construction days on East Campus]

AU originally wanted Saturday workdays in February, but some immediate neighbors at the adjacent Westover Place complex resisted due to the potential for disruptive noise and the proposal was dropped. That issue may resurface Wednesday night at the ANC meeting.

D.C. Code allows construction 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Monday to Saturday in residential zones, but neighbors and ANCs frequently weigh in on individual projects to reduce the potential impact of noise from construction sites.

AU requested in its zoning application that the typically-required public hearing on the proposal is waived.

“[T]he scheduling of a public hearing in this case will cause AU and its general contractor to miss additional Saturdays of construction activity,” the application reads.

Weather woes (screenshot of AU powerpoint presentation to community).

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