On Nov. 28, 2014, the Bugahyeon-dong Association for the Conservation of Natural Scenery, a local environmental civic group, had demanded an investigation on the SMG’s permission of the dormitory construction at Ewha.
“Civic groups can file a request for BAI’s inspection on public interest,” explained a BAI public relations official who wishes to remain anonymous. “Our board decided that the matter needed to be addressed based on our regulation regarding inspection on public interest.”
Recently, the Bugahyeon-dong Association for the Conservation of Natural Scenery repeatedly criticized the SMG and the Seodaemun-gu Office for their permission of the construction of the dormitory despite its potential environmental consequences. It asserts that SMG’s permission would lower the biotope level of the Bugahyeon-dong Forest, which has been a conservation area. The biotope level indicates the level of protection required for a habitat. The civic group also claims that over 1,200 trees were cut down during the initial phase of land clearing, whch continued for months. .
The inspection request diverges from the previous actions of landlords in Bugahyeon-dong in that it emphasizes the environmental consequences rather than the local economy. Last September, landlords in the region had held a protest saying that the construction of the dormitory would make it difficult for them to earn a living.
Meanwhile, the school points out that the construction met all the necessary legal and administrative requirements for the construction of the dormitory. According to Lee Jeong-hee, an official from Communications, the university submitted the required documents, went through a series of inspections and held committee meetings before construction.
Lee added that the Bugahyeon Forest stretches within the boundaries of the Ewha campus.
“The construction site is surrounded by the school fence and is filled with trees planted by the university,” she said. “We are planning to replant the trees after the construction.”
The university maintains that BAI’s decision for inspection has not influenced Ewha as it is not the subject of the inspection. It stakes that the inspection will not delay the construction schedule.
“So far, the authorities have not asked Ewha to stop the construction nor have they penalized any party,” Lee said.
The new dormitory is still scheduled to be open by 2016. After completion, the new building and the Hanwoori Hall will be able to accommodate over 20 percent of the enrolled capacity at Ewha.
Meanwhile, the BAI is expected to initiate its inspection in early March, 2015. The board will notify the results to Ewha and announce them on its Web site after the inspection process.
저작권자 © Ewha Voice 무단전재 및 재배포 금지