Somsen Hall construction creates frustration, anticipation

Zach Bailey

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Winona State University started construction on first floor of Somsen Hall earlier this summer. It has continued into the end of fall semester, closing the west side of the first floor. (Photo by Sarah Murray)

Winona State University started construction on first floor of Somsen Hall earlier this summer.
It has continued into the end of fall semester, closing the west side of the first floor. (Photo by Sarah Murray)

Zach Bailey/Winonan

With Winona State University’s Somsen Hall construction nearing completion, it will not be much longer that students have to avoid the west hallway of the building’s first floor. But since the first few weeks of the summer break, students and faculty alike have been hearing hammering, sawing and banging from the construction site.

Winona State has been remodeling parts of first floor of the building to turn what used to be office space into a marketing and finance lab. The lab will include a sitting and studying space, screens showing the NASDAQ and market ratings, and glass walls for an open look.

“The flooring is about to go in this week,” one of the workers onsite said. “I couldn’t honestly say how much longer it will take, but flooring is usually one of the last things we do.”

Rachel Adam, a student worker in Somsen Hall’s second floor web communications office, is one of the students affected by the construction below her. Since day one of construction, Adam has had to work with constant noise and distractions.

“The floor shakes from all the hammering and drilling, and all of the noise becomes such a concentration breaker,” Adam said.

Though noise is the largest thing that has affected Adam and the rest of the web communications office, she said there was a period of nearly two months where workers had to be moved around, and the office was without a conference room.

Not only were web communications workers affected, but also all of the staff previously located in the offices on first floor. All staff members have been moved to various locations, such as other locations in Somsen Hall, and even houses around campus that Winona State has bought.

Construction was set to finish at the beginning of October. Even though construction is in its last phases, a month difference has made a significant change in plans for those who use Somsen Hall.