On the Hill

Carnegie construction creates dust, elevator problems

After one student was hospitalized for an allergic reaction to dust, and members of the mathematics department complained that students on crutches did not have access to an elevator, Carnegie Library renovation planners are reviewing procedures.

The several million-dollar project at Carnegie, home of the mathematics department and Science and Technology Library, underwent construction for the first time while classes were in session last week. Planners expected renovations, which began in May, to be complete or nearly complete by the start of the fall semester.

Members of the mathematics department raised concerns about the project’s effect on students and Eugene Poletsky, department chair, alerted construction and university officials of these concerns on Friday. Eric Spina, vice chancellor and provost, and Eric Beattie, director of Campus Planning, Design and Construction, dealt with the issue that day.

A student who originally had a math class in Carnegie had to have classes transferred to sessions meeting outside of Carnegie after being hospitalized for a severe dust allergy during the first week of classes, Poletsky said.

Beattie said the dust control procedures for the renovation project are under review, and improvements to prevent dust from escaping work areas will be made where possible. He said he does not recall another instance of a serious reaction to dust as a result of construction on campus.

A professor in the mathematics department encountered a student on crutches hopping up the stairs due to confusion regarding use of the elevator. It was unclear whether the first floor entrance granted access to the elevator, located within the library section of the building, or if a key was needed. The accessibility issue was addressed after the professor reported it.

Keys will now be available at the main desk at the entrance of the library for students to gain access to the second and third floors, Beattie said.

The renovations include a fully accessible elevator that is in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and does not require a key. Beattie said the accessibility improvements to the building are a priority of the project and, although an installation date for the new elevator is not set, the elevator will most likely be installed within the next two years.

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