Parrish renovation continues, residents and WSRN weather the noise

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Sometimes they start at 7:00 in the morning. This year, Parrish residents have a communal alarm clock: the bangs and crashes of construction. For most Swatties, the most noticeable change in Parrish has been the loss of the Parlors. For the lucky students upstairs, construction has become part of their lives.

Upperclassmen knew what they were getting into when they picked into Parrish, warned before the housing lottery of the noise and disturbances. According to Emily Nolte ’07, most residents have been tolerant of the work, and Parrish’s prime location and large rooms makes it still a desirable place, even for unwarned first-years.

Problems remain. “It’s not too big of an issue, but it would be nice if we had a functional lounge,” Nolte says. Study breaks are held in the halls, and there are no public computers or TVs. There has only been one major problem so far, when the water was turned off last Thursday without the fourth floor women being notified. “I’d been at the gym and I went to take a shower and found the bathroom boarded up. We hadn’t been warned at all.” This turned out to be a communication rupture, and Nolte describes the college administration as very apologetic. Construction workers have also given residents one day’s notice to some residents clean out their closets for valve work.

Another organization affected by the construction is WSRN, Swarthmore’s radio station. Formerly located at the very top of Parrish, the station has been moved to Third North, a rather large undertaking. The station is off to a late start due to the move, but hopefully will begin broadcasting the week before October break. The recording library and most of the equipment has been moved, but the wiring still is incomplete, says WSRN Program Director and Engineer Mark Handler ’05. “It will be basically the same,” he says. The only large changes from the move have been the loss of Studio B and the obvious inability to broadcast from Parrish Parlors.

The construction isn’t scheduled to be completed until September 2005. Meanwhile, the residents and WSRN staff are working around it. Looking on the bright side, Handler says, “We don’t have to climb so many stairs.” And, when the construction is done, there will be an elevator.

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