City officials are counting down the weeks until they can move into their new offices at the Gaillard Center.

Arts groups are starting to plan performances for the fine new space.

But the people who might be the most happy when construction is complete at the Gaillard auditorium are the neighbors in Ansonborough who wake up every morning - seven days a week - to workers shouting information to each other and trucks backing and beeping. And if those noises don't wake them up, there's no sleeping when construction begins for the day at 7 a.m.

The original plan was to finish construction in January. Now the construction company is saying that it is behind schedule and work will not be finished until April. Also work that was supposed to stop or be abbreviated on Sundays won't be.

It's been two years and neighbors are looking at possibly another eight months of more construction. And communication between the neighbors and the construction company has been disappointing. For example, neighbors asked for a construction calendar months ago, and have yet to see one. And they were told that almost all the work of the remaining work would be done inside, and hence would be quiet. So far, that hasn't been the case.

It was big news in 2005 when the soaring Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge was completed 13 months ahead of schedule.

That the complicated redo of the Gaillard Center, like many large building projects, is behind schedule is not likely to surprise many people. And it makes sense that the city is pushing for work to finish as close to the original completion date as possible. The Spoleto Festival starts in May and will use the center for the duration of the festival.

And of course, the public wants to see the finished facility as soon as possible.

As Mayor Joe Riley says, they deserve a chance to celebrate the spectacular facility that it will be. The addition of the vastly revamped Gaillard will add another dimension to the city's cultural life.

And as work to complete the project is expedited, it should be done with heightened sensitivity to the neighbors who have borne the brunt of the project and the burdens of living nearby.