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Humanities Construction Starts Fall Semester off With a Bang – Literally

Construction outside classroom window of Humanities building. (Photo Credit: Max Blumenfrcht)

By Max Blumenfrucht | September 20, 2021

The fall semester has gotten off to a noisy start for first-floor classrooms in the Humanities Building on the uptown campus because of construction work on the podium deck on the south side of the building.

According to Steve Sano, Assistant Project Manager for University at Albany Facilities Management, the entire roof of the podium deck is being redone.

The project has been in place for several months and began by tearing out the old roofing material, which exposed the structure when Hurricane Ida’s storm system brought a significant amount of rain to the Capital Region. This caused some minor leaking into the basement of Humanities, even though precautions were taken.

“We ripped up the deck and unfortunately the hurricane came through,” said Sano. “We covered it up, but the wind blew it away.”

The construction has been divided into thirds and Facilities Management says that they’re on the last leg.

“We have to work in sections, so the first and second sections are done, and we just have to finish it up,” Sano added.

Facilities Management said that once this process is completed, they will put cement down as the final step.

Asked when the project would be finished, Sano said, “that I couldn’t tell you.”

In the meantime, students and faculty will continue to deal with the disturbance that they’ve had no choice but to accept for the first quarter of this semester.

“I find it a little distracting,” said Robert-Joseph Robichaud, a university freshman who has a class in Humanities on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

The noise, however, is only one concern. Professors and students are faced with the dilemma of choosing between closing the windows to block out the noise or keeping the windows open to stay safer from contracting COVID-19.

“You’re trying to avert one horror and end up being faced with something else,” said Writing and Critical Inquiry Professor Dr. Cristina James, who teaches in Humanities.

“I certainly don’t fault anyone,” Dr. James added. “UAlbany is doing everything they can.”


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