Illustration/photo: Eduardo Drapier

Students complained about noise at Kvam

The Kvam student housing buildings are going through construction and refurbishing. But two weeks ago, in the back of Bloc B, a drilling and digging noise started earlier in the morning and caught everyone by surprise.

By EDUARDO DRAPIER

Overview of Kvam student housing. Photo: Eduardo Drapier
Overview of Kvam student housing. Photo: Eduardo Drapier

Students were complaining about the noise all day and even went in a small group to talk to SiMolde to try to understand what was going on.

Apparently, they didn’t receive any notification beforehand about this specific construction project. In Kvam the only information provided about the reconstruction was a flyer on each of the buildings, informing residents about any limitations and the expected end date in 2019.

Bloc B and the construction. Photo: Eduardo Drapier
Bloc B and the construction. Photo: Eduardo Drapier

Everyone knows that these constructions aim to provide better comfort and service for all students and visitors. During construction time things can be annoying, and privacy becomes an issue due to men working and walking by all day.

But what made the students angry, was a note in an email from SiMolde they received after complaining about that suggests they do not stay at home from 7 to 17h.

We talked to Venke Hovde, who is in charge of student housing at SiMolde, about this whole issue, and the first thing she said was:

«We apologize for not notifying them about this. This particular work was supposed to be just a bit of digging so we could lay down some new pipes. However, when the work started the contractors got some challenges with the bedrock, and therefore the noise got a lot worse, and lasted longer than first anticipated. Because of this issue arising only after the work had started, we did not have the opportunity to notify them beforehand. Unfortunately, this also happened over the fall break when there might have been less lectures at school and people planned on spending more time at home.»

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It’s all about communication. The company responsible for the construction should have talked to SiMolde about the challenges they had, what they were supposed to do at the moment and to notify all students that live in Kvam – especially those who were near this construction. Tenants from Bloc B believed their bloc was done. As you can see from the picture below the construction is happening right in the front of the back rooms. This makes it impossible to rest, study or have some quality time at home.

View from a room from Bloc B. Photo: Eduardo Drapier
View from a room from Bloc B. Photo: Eduardo Drapier

Students that are working during night shift and getting home late didn’t have a good night’s sleep, and those who were spending time studying at home or just enjoying their home sweet home had to figure out how to escape the noise.

When talking to several students about the construction noise, they also complained about the stairs that gives access to Bunnpris, or the football pitch that is now closed. They don’t know why it is still closed or when it’s going to open. Without having access to these stairs, all students need to walk around almost to campus to reach Bunnpris. Despite the fact that it is boring to walk a lot – especially with heavy grocery bags – when you could have an easier and faster route, this is also an issue about safety. Since the road all students need to take now doesn’t have a proper sidewalk, rain and the coming winter could create ice, making the path very slippery.

Blocked stairs. Photo: Eduardo Drapier
Blocked stairs. Photo: Eduardo Drapier

We asked Venke Hovde when the stairs will open again, and she said:

«The walkway near by the stairs will open again some time in November. The stairs however, will not open yet due to safety reasons.»

She also added:

«The general renovation of the housing will last throughout 2018.»

Walkway near by the football field and Bunnpriss that give access to Kvam student housing. Photo: Eduardo Drapier
Walkway near by the football field and Bunnpriss that give access to Kvam student housing. Photo: Eduardo Drapier
  • Altuğ Öztürk

    Hope the people that live in Kvam at least get a compensation for the trouble. Maybe reduced rent for all effected would be a good solution..