Preschool says Shem Creek construction noise is affecting students

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Construction has started on the parking garage along Shem Creek, but the staff at a preschool about 500 feet down the road says the noise is disruptive.

Elaine DeaKyne, who has a child at The Montessori of Mt. Pleasant, says, “We feel it’s really adding a lot of stress on them and creating what might be more anxiety for them in their environment.”

Megan Nordoff, Head of The Montessori of Mt. Pleasant, says, “When the pile driver starts during nap time it actually does keep them awake and you can hear them talking about it inside when they’re normally asleep.”

The preschool teachers tell me the pile driving started on the Wednesday, and construction workers expect the noise to continue for about another month.

One of the teachers, Alex Simmons, says, “They start screaming because it’s so loud.”

The Montessori School wrote a letter to Mt. Pleasant Town Council asking for help. In response, Councilman Will Haynie wrote an email asking the construction to stop until the contractor can demonstrate to the town that seismic sensors and decibel meters can prove the construction isn’t impacting the area.

Haynie says, “My wife’s a school teacher and I understand how important instruction time is and when you have something that’s interfering with that we need to see what’s in the town’s powers to not disrupt our residents or our schools.”

Council members and the school both say they don’t expect construction to stop completely, but they want to reach an agreement to make the noise more tolerable.

Nordoff says, “We want to find a way to work together so the progress can continue and the children’s needs are also met.”

Mt. Pleasant Town Councilman Joe Bustos says, “They could work on weekends, they can do things when school or respect their hours when they’re doing construction or as they said this morning, when they’re trying to take naps.”

I spoke to Mayor Linda Page on the phone this afternoon, she says there really isn’t anything the Town Council can do if the contractor isn’t breaking any building regulations. She says the contractors do have seismic sensors at the construction site to monitor the impact and she hopes the school and contractor can work together to come up with an agreement that suits everyone.

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