Adverse weather slows construction of library

Since Eastern received roughly a foot of snow two weeks ago, construction workers have brought shovels and constructive precautions to the Warner Library addition site. Although the work has been delayed, the addition is still expected to be finished on schedule for the beginning of next year’s classes.

Besides making the site’s appearance messy, the snow and ice capped the metal skeleton structure of the addition and made any kind of movement on it dangerous.

“It is really like an ice rink up there,” said campus services director Rob Smith.

Smith said the ice and frigid weather combined to prevent workers from putting the wood decking up and pouring concrete for the east wall facing McInnis. Besides using a shovel to tear down the walls of snow, construction worker John Fairfield with his fellow workers put in overtime to makeup for the schedule setback. Fairfield said thawing the ice is just a matter of time.

Working in brisk 25-degree weather on ice covered ground, construction workers have layered themselves with snowsuits, thick gloves, scarves, ski masks, heavy boots and then some to keep warm and safe.

“I keep warm with lots of layers and long underwear,” Fairfield said. Since the start of the construction, cars have been able to exit Eastern’s Fairfield Drive entrance but not enter through it, changing a two-way street to one-way. The change was made so that construction workers could easily move their machinery.

Despite this inconvenience, the Eastern community has voiced little or no complaints.

“Eastern has been very accommodating with this whole process,” Fairfield said.

While winter weather has set back construction a mere couple of days, Fairfield said that the rainy summer coupled with this recent blizzard has left his team a couple of weeks behind. Smith agreed, but said that the completion date for construction of the addition still stands for August 2.

“It’s not a major set back. It is just a matter of melting,” Smith said.

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