FIT Students Say Sleep, Study Impossible With Construction Noise

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Students at an FIT dorm on Manhattan's West Side aren't getting much sleep now that a construction crew is working overnight right next door. Ida Siegal reports.

    Students at a Manhattan college dormitory say the noise from a new construction project across the street is so overwhelming it's taken a toll on their studies. 

    Fashion Institute of Technology students living in the Kaufman Hall dormitory say that since last week, they've been hearing jackhammering, drilling and loud humming around the clock from the Manhattan West construction site on 9th Avenue and 31st Street.

    "It's very strong," said Estefania Garcia-Correa, one of the 1,100 students living at Kaufman. "I'm on the ninth floor, and I can hear it all the time." 

    Lindsay Roffman says she's missing so much sleep from the noise that she can barely get through the day.

    "Earplugs don't work. I still wake up from the noise," said Roffman. "I'm afraid I'll miss my alarm waking up in the mornings." 

    Brookfield, the developer of Manhattan West, is building a major retail office complex along the West Side rail yards and has a noise permit to do the work from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. A spokesperson for the company said construction must be done during those overnight hours because of the commuter trains using the tracks beneath the site. Construction work during the day would force delays on the Long Island Rail Road, Amtrak and New Jersey Transit.

    But in the week before midterm exams at FIT, students who aren't able to study, much less sleep, were asking for a compromise.

    "Don't do it every single night. If it were like twice a week that would be much better," pleaded Anubhuti Swarup.

    "You can't think because it's so loud," she said. 

    "I'm normally like a very happy person," said Roffman. "This has just put so much stress on me. When you get a lack of sleep, it changes everything." 

    A spokesperson at FIT said the school is arranging a meeting with Brookfield to brainstorm a mutually beneficial solution. The school will also be monitoring noise levels at the dorm.

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