A rhythmic banging that's been echoing throughout downtown Sydney recently will be a fixture in the downtown soundscape for some time to come.
It's coming from the construction site of the new Nova Scotia Community College Marconi campus.
"It was identified that the waterfront site was absolutely the best site for the new facility. However, not the best site for building," NSCC Marconi principal Fred Tilley told CBC Cape Breton's Information Morning.
"The area is in-filled," he said. "And bedrock, which we need for a foundation, is about 30 to 60 feet below the surface, depending on where you are. So the banging that you're hearing is the steel piles being driven down into the bedrock."
Some 800 piles will have to be pounded into the site to create the foundation for the new buildings. That work — and the banging — will continue for another four to five months.
"I guess we could call it some short-term pain hopefully for some future long-term gain," said Tilley.
That's Phil Dubinsky's outlook. He owns the Old Triangle Irish Alehouse across the street from the construction site.
"It's a little loud, but it's good noise," said Dubinsky. "Just to see some progress and a bit of a glimmer of hope in the downtown Sydney area."
The new Marconi campus, which is scheduled to open in September 2024, will include four buildings, covering about 300,000 square feet, and will house about 1,400 students and 200 staff.
Early childhood educator Rosanne MacLean and her group of preschoolers from the nearby YMCA Early Learning Centre walk down to the construction site every day to check out the progress.
They've been counting the bangs, and wondering what's causing them.
"We don't mind it because we're not business owners," she said. "We're just the preschoolers, and we enjoy technology and science. So we're always interested in noises."