Construction causes closure of McNulty atrium

Students with classes in McNulty Hall, also known as the Science and Technology Center, were greeted with a surprise after spring break: the complete closure of the building’s atrium.

Over the break, walls were erected so that no students or faculty members could enter the glassed-in portion of the building, ensuring that no harm would come to anyone once construction to remove and replace the building’s limestone façade began.

The new barriers are just one of many additions made to the building to ensure safety. During the spring semester of last year, pedestrian barriers were erected on the sidewalks around the center, and the stairwell inside the atrium was closed.

According to Michael Marconi, project manager for Facilities Engineering, “engineering and construction preparation are underway to remove the existing façade this summer and install a new one.”

Marconi also said Facilities Engineering did work over spring break to minimize any noise during classroom hours.

John Saccoman, chair of the department of math and computer science, teaches several classes in the building and has an office located on the first floor.

“I have not had any problems yet with noise or anything like that,” he said. “They are doing a good job not disturbing classes.”

Junior Laura Gruca, who is a math major and has two classes in the building, said she has not experienced any issues due to construction noise. She also said she did not feel her learning environment has been impacted negatively by it. However, the walls can make the building difficult to navigate for some.

“For me personally, I haven’t had any problems, but for others, it can be an inconvenience,” Gruca said.

Saccoman said the barriers will mainly affect those in the science department because they essentially block the lab area from most other parts of the building.

“I am sure that people, especially those with labs, will find it inconvenient,” he said.

Junior Iah Fontaine has two classes in McNulty. She said that the atrium closure means that there is no longer a place in the building to do homework between classes.

“For those of us who are commuters and have several classes in the building throughout the day, it’s most convenient to wait in McNulty and do a little homework before the next class,” she said. “Losing those chairs has made it hard to do that.”

Comprehensive construction on the building will begin in May, according to Marconi.

“Staging for the removal activities will start in May, with removal starting after commencement and completion in the fall,” he said.

During the bulk of the construction in the summer there will be no classes held in the building.

Other than the atrium, the rest of the building remains in use and is open to members of the Seton Hall community.

“We look forward to the building being fully functional in the fall,” Saccoman said.

Alyana Alfaro can be reached at alyana.alfaro@student.shu.edu.

Author: Staff Writer

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