Renovations are often disruptive, no matter the scale. So some sort of conflict between WinnCompanies and Monroe Community College's Damon City Campus may have been inevitable. Winn owns and is renovating the Sibley Building downtown for housing and a high-tech incubator; MCC is a tenant in the building.
The Monroe Community College Faculty Association sent a letter to school administrators on November 14 laying out some of the problems reported by staff and students since construction intensified. They include water and collapsing ceilings in office and classroom space, rodent and insect problems, and physical discomfort from chemical fumes and air pollution.
Representatives of the Faculty Association have since met with administration officials to talk about the problems, and both sides say some of the issues have been addressed.
"We anticipate that the college administration shares our interest in the well-being of the employees and students and will take informed steps to rectify the situation as soon as possible," says a statement from the Faculty Association.
School representatives now meet regularly with the developer and the contractor, says MCC spokesperson Cynthia Cooper Mapes. The contractor has agreed not to perform heavy demolition work between 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., the prime time for classes, she says. And administrators created a process for staff and students to report problems.
"There's really good dialogue going on," Cooper Mapes says.
Initially, the Faculty Association also asked school officials to demand a halt to construction through the rest of the fall semester and to move classes to MCC's Brighton Campus for the spring semester. But the college's staff, unions, and administration have now agreed to keep classes at the downtown campus for the spring.
The Damon City Campus is on track to move to its new location on State Street for the fall 2017 semester, Cooper Mapes says.