The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Kirkland Hall construction delayed, expected to be completed before end of semester

The construction site is one of 10 ongoing construction projects on campus.
Amelia Simpson
Construction at Kirkland Hall, as photographed on Sept. 20, 2022. (Hustler Multimedia/Amelia Simpson)

UPDATED AND CORRECTED: This article was updated and corrected on Aug. 23 at 1 p.m. CDT. It previously stated that there are 11 active construction sites on campus, according to Vanderbilt Facilities’ website. However, the website was incorrect. Furthermore, it was updated to include more information regarding construction start times.

The construction at Kirkland Hall, which began in September 2021, is anticipated to be completed before the end of the Fall 2023 semester, Vanderbilt Facilities told The Hustler. The esplanade surrounding the building is expected to be finished a few weeks prior to the building.

While Facilities did not offer a specific completion date, Vanderbilt’s website reads that it is expected to be done by Oct. 1, 2023. If this goal is reached, the esplanade should be completed by mid-September per Vanderbilt Facilities’ metrics. This date was pushed back from Sept. 30, which was listed as the expected completion date as of the afternoon of Aug. 20.

The project was originally projected to be completed by Spring 2023, and Chancellor Daniel Diermeier had told The Hustler in a February interview that it would be done by the beginning of the Fall 2023 semester. However, Facilities said delays in construction materials being delivered slowed the site’s progress. They added that more of these delays could cause the completion date to be pushed back further.

“One example is a delay in the delivery of the switchgear, which allows the building to have permanent power, HVAC systems to become operational and finishes to begin. This gear was one of the first pieces of equipment ordered as part of the renovation project and took nearly 70 weeks to obtain,” Facilities said in an email to The Hustler.

The Kirkland Hall construction is one of 10 ongoing construction projects on campus. Of these projects, two — Garland Hall remodeling and an excavation outside the E. Bronson Ingram Arts Studio — commenced this summer. Furthermore, some construction sites — such as the football end zone construction — have progressed over the summer, causing additional road closures and block-offs.

One Magnolia Circle is listed as completed on June 12, 2023, construction is still occurring at the site. Similarly, construction at the Lummis Tennis Center is said to be underway on Facilities’ website, but its start date is listed as Jan. 1, 2024; Facilities clarified that construction is not currently occurring at this site.

Gayatri Alturi, a resident of Morgan House, stated that the hours and the extent of the construction are challenging for students to plan around, particularly those living near construction sites. While Facilities stated that university construction projects cannot begin before 7 a.m. CDT and loud operations cannot begin before 8 a.m. CDT, senior and Morgan House resident Jeanne d’Arc Koffi stated that construction has begun at 6:30 a.m. CDT on some days.

“I think it’s just frustrating how students were unaware that construction would be this impeding for move-in/everyday life when choosing housing last year,” Alturi said.

Koffi achoed Alturi’s statements, stating that she did not feel informed about the degree of the current construction projects when choosing her living arrangements last spring.

“Overall, the construction noise is really disruptive to my daily living,” Koffi added. “I don’t feel that students should have to modify so much of how they get around and deal with so much noise everyday of the week.”

Similarly, sophomore Stanley Chiu, another Morgan House resident, said the closure of 25th St. created complications for his move-in process.

“My driver pulled up to the road, but the road was blocked, so I had to go from the back and climb up the hill,” Chiu said. “I was caught off guard.”

The construction at Kirkland Hall aims to make the building more inclusive and accessible under the ADA; improve internal infrastructure; redesign classroom and office space to encourage more collaboration; replace the roof, floors and stairs; implement flood-resistant measures; and alter the bathrooms to be gender-neutral.

“We are excited to see the Kirkland Hall and esplanade transformation,” the email from Facilities reads. “Once finished, the building and site will be more inclusive and promote connections within the community.”

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About the Contributors
Rachael Perrotta
Rachael Perrotta, Former Editor-in-Chief
Rachael Perrotta ('24) is from Cranston, R.I., and majored in cognitive studies, political science and communication of science and technology and minored in gender and sexuality studies in Peabody College. She was also previously Senior Advisor and News Editor. If she's not pressing you for a comment, she's probably trying to convince you that she's over 5 feet tall, cheering on the Red Sox or wishing Nashville had a beach. She can be reached at [email protected].
Amelia Simpson
Amelia Simpson, Staff Photographer and Graphics Staffer
Amelia Simpson ('25) hails from Brisbane, Australia and is a student in the College of Arts and Sciences majoring in public policy. Outside of her work in the Hustler’s multimedia sections, Amelia is a member of the club rowing and equestrian teams. You can reach her at [email protected]
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