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Frist Health Center construction continues past working hours, disturbing some student residents

An orange barrier with a fence closes off a dark construction site.
The Frist Health Center construction site sitting at the intersection of Guyot Lane and Goheen Walk.
Calvin Grover / The Daily Princetonian

As construction continues across campus, overnight work has been occurring on the site of the new Frist Health Center. While the Princeton Town Ordinance limits the hours construction can occur to between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., the University is exempt. A resident of Scully Hall, Julia Zhou ’24, noticed and reported the late-night work to Public Safety (PSAFE) on two separate occasions since the start of spring break, telling The Daily Princetonian that the late-night noise and light are disruptive.

In an interview with the ‘Prince,’ Zhou explained that she had been hearing and seeing construction as late as 1 a.m., including a “sustained beeping sound” and people in high-visibility clothing working with cranes in the construction site. Zhou expressed that studying in her room is difficult with the noise from the construction, and the late-night work meant that, for her, “it’s really hard to start sleeping.”


Princeton Town Ordinance requires that construction cannot occur at any time on Sundays, or later than 6 p.m. or before 7 a.m. on all other days of the week. On Saturdays, work cannot begin before 8 a.m. Outside of these times, construction can only go ahead “in case of urgent necessity in the interest of public health and safety.”

Work outside normal hours of operation also requires the “prior procurement of a permit … by the municipal engineer or building official,” in accordance with the terms of Section 21-2(i) of Princeton Town Ordinance.

According to University Spokesperson Jennifer Morrill, the overnight work on the site for March 19 was deemed necessary as it “impeded a driveway” and therefore posed unsafe conditions for workers during regular working hours. A shift was scheduled for 3–11 p.m. on Tuesday, March 19, but “the crew ran into an issue and the planned finish by 11 p.m. ran late.”

Morrill added that it is “not required to obtain a permit for work taking place within campus,” but the University’s “practice is to involve the municipal engineer when impact issues, such as overnight or late-night noise, are anticipated.”

The Frist Health Center construction site sits at the intersection of Guyot Lane and Goheen Walk near Butler College dormitories. The Frist Health Center is set to replace McCosh Health Center as the location for on-campus healthcare services.

While students were not directly notified of the late-night work, Morrill explained that “students have been informed through various means including mirror decals in all public restrooms on campus that they can reach out to the Facilities Service Center regarding concerns about construction.”


Additionally, Section 2.2.1 of Rights, Rules, and Responsibilities says that “dormitory residents concerned about excessive noise should feel free, at any time, to call the public safety officers for assistance.”

Zhou told the ‘Prince’ that she first contacted PSAFE on Tuesday, March 12, during spring break, then contacted them again on Monday, March 18, due to the disturbance caused by the noise.

She explained that the construction workers “finally left around 2 a.m. and then they started up again at their usual time in the morning” of March 19. On March 12, the site was cleared before PSAFE arrived.

Morrill wrote that the “work was scheduled for spring break week. Due to adverse weather, the project extended into the following week.” This work has now been completed, according to Morrill.

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The construction of Frist Health Center is expected to be complete in 2025. While the use for the current McCosh Health Center has not yet been announced, ideas such as a graduate student center and a campus pub have been proposed by students.

Other students have expressed frustration at the ongoing campus construction, suggesting it has been “widening the existing chasm” between different areas of campus and creating dissatisfaction and frustration regarding circulating campus.

Victoria Davies is an assistant News editor for the ‘Prince.’

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