Residents voice concerns with Gaillard construction underway

Gaillard renovation disrupting neighbors

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - It's a construction project so massive, nearby community members say they can barely hear themselves think because of all the noise. The City of Charleston's multi-million dollar makeover of Gaillard Auditorium on Calhoun Street  is well underway in the heart of the historic Ansonborough neighborhood downtown.

"It's just really loud in the morning and it goes until 6 or 7," Lee Ziegler said.

"There's all kinds of stuff flying around. It's pretty frustrating," Katie O'Brien said.

"You'll literally feel everything shaking. I don't know what they're doing over there. They're literally shaking the ground. It's kind Those are just some of the complaints about the Gaillard Auditorium construction.

"Recently it has gotten a lot worse. I just purchased some earplugs I use in the morning sometimes," Ziegler said.

The City of Charleston is working on a $142 million project to makeover the Gaillard Auditorium. It will soon boast a new performance hall, office, and event space. City project officials and the construction company are working to keep disruptions to a minimum.

"Even before we started construction we thought about these issues," project manager Dustin Clemens said.

The city says because the construction site is in an urban and historic neighborhood, they chose certain construction elements that are quieter than other options.

The city also has vibration monitors to make sure shaking won't damage homes, and soon there will be dust monitors to make sure there is no asbestos or lead in the dust.

Right now the project is in the demolition phase, which project managers say is the noisiest and messiest part of the project, but this phase will be over soon.

"We're working six days a week, Monday through Saturday, 7 to 7, just to get that phase over and done with. By the end of December, it should be considerably quieter," Clemens said.

The contractor has offered to help residents with cleanup if dust is a major issue. They've also offered to photograph a resident's home inside or out, if the homeowner thinks the shaking will cause any damage.

If you are interested you can call the City of Charleston at (843) 577-7400.

The Gaillard Auditorium is scheduled to be complete by December of 2014.