Construction noise near elementary school unacceptably loud, parents say
The noise at a Claridge Homes construction site is so loud that outdoor recess at nearby Devonshire Community Public School was cut short, and parents say they're worried about possible hearing damage if the loud banging continues.
The work to build an apartment building first became disruptive on Monday, parents told CBC, and one day later students were called inside during recess because the volume became too loud.
Brittany Laframboise said the noise caused her four-year-old daughter Ava to have a meltdown after school.
"She screamed and cried and covered her ears the whole way home," Laframboise said.
There should be some way to mitigate the sound. - Michelle Drummond, mother of Grade 3 student
Michelle Drummond said she considered buying her daughter Elodie ear plugs due to the "ridiculous" noise levels.
"They know the school is that close. There should be some way to mitigate the sound," said Drummond.
Claridge is just beginning to build a highrise at 1040 Somerset St. W., half a block from Devonshire school. When CBC visited Thursday, there was a metal fence around the construction site but no obvious sound barriers.
Parents were told the pile-driving stage of the project, which produces some of the loudest noise, will last two to four months, said Laframboise, who attended a school meeting on the topic Wednesday night.
The entire project is expected to take years to complete, she said.
Noisy work to stop for 1 hour per day
After repeated attempts to get comment from Claridge, a woman who answered the phone at Claridge's head office Friday morning said the company is not making any comment at this time.
The school board said in a statement Thursday that the construction has generated "significant" noise "both outside and inside" school. While it's sporadic, it has sometimes made it difficult for students to concentrate and educators to teach, the statement added.
Claridge told the board the noise might continue for eight weeks. The board said the company vowed to shut down noisy operations for an hour each day, from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Meanwhile, the board is looking into "noise reduction options" for the school, it said.
Jonathan Hunt, a Grade 6 student, said he was among those who were brought inside on Tuesday. He said kids in his class were forced to change rooms because of the noise.
The 11-year-old described a scene where students were having headaches and "little kids were crying."
"Hopefully this doesn't happen again because recess time is the only time we're not working and we want to have fun at recess," Hunt added.
WATCH | One student describes the noise:
While all agree Tuesday was the loudest day, the work on Thursday was loud enough to drown out the sound of children playing outside.
Lindsay Copland, whose six-year-old son Malcolm wears hearing aids, said he is having trouble playing outside because of the near-constant ambient noise coming from the Claridge site.
"He can't hear his friends. He couldn't hear me this morning. It makes it very, very challenging for him to even know what's going on," she said.
Suzanne Nash, the school board's trustee for the area, said Claridge can do more than stopping loud work for an hour each day.
"It's not been very communicative and we're always reacting," she said.
Nash wants to see a barrier up around the site to block noise and dust, and she would like more warning from Claridge when it plans to do particularly disruptive work.