updated 12/1/2006 9:58:52 AM ET 2006-12-01T14:58:52

If College of Charleston students are getting headaches these days, it's not from studying the Treaty of Utrecht or Planck's constant for finals. The constant they have to deal with is the metallic clang of a pile driver sinking columns for a new campus building.

The Student Government Association has petitioned the college to stop construction during finals, which start next week. But officials said at $6,000 a day, it would be too expensive to halt the work.

Instead, no finals will be held in the building closest to the construction and students will be offered earplugs.

Seaton Brown, a student senator, called the noise "the loudest hammer you have ever heard in your life."

Student leaders hope to collect 3,000 signatures to ask that construction be stopped during finals week Dec. 6-13.

"We're an institution dedicated to the progress of minds, not the progress of buildings," Brown said.

Undergraduate enrollment at the college is roughly 9,800 students.

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