Campus receives summer facelift

Over the summer, 350 workers toiled on various renovation projects, small and large, all across campus. In addition to constructing the new Academic Buildings, they helped update Goodrich Hall, Jesup, The Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA), Clark and Perry.

Facilities devoted approximately 45 workers and $1.372 million to upgrading Goodrich Hall, which had suffered structural damages during a concert in May 2007. The building’s floor, furniture, stage and stairs were replaced and its lighting fixtures were upgraded. Goodrich opened its doors on Sept. 1.

The student-run coffee bar is slated to open in the next few weeks. Campus Life is currently soliciting applications for a personnel manager and two finance/supply managers. Jessica Gulley, assistant director of Campus Life, hopes that these managers will be hired by this Friday. From there, these new hires will recruit and train employees in addition to getting in touch with vendors to schedule deliveries.

“I think you’ll find the work [we did] an improvement upon the ‘old’ Goodrich, and its operation should remain quite similar to times past, save one notable exception,” said Mike Briggs, senior project manager in charge of the building’s renovations. “The old living room space and the space previously occupied by the Campus Life team on the second floor of Goodrich, is now being used by the dance program.”

The decision to redesignate the second floor was made by the Goodrich Hall Building Committee. It was composed of members from the student body, Campus Life and the dance department who worked together to reconfigure the building to accommodate shared usage, according to Briggs.

Goodrich’s newly renovated Payne Hall will remain a space for student-programming and campus-wide events like First Fridays.

To make Jesup Hall, home of the Office of Information Technology (OIT), more accessible for people with physical disabilities, Facilities spent the summer rebuilding the existing main entrance and adding a weather-tight entry vestibule. The new entrance will have a wheelchair lift. The total cost of the project is $550,000 and is scheduled to be finished on time on Sept. 30.

Clark Hall’s north and east retaining walls underwent repairs to prevent water infiltration this summer. Similarly, construction crews rebuilt the east patio of Perry to stop water infiltration. They also upgraded handrails and fire alarm panels in the building. Work on the two buildings cost $127,000 and $375,000 respectively.

In another intensive project, Facilities began a two-phase process of replacing the thirty-year-old heating, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment in WCMA. The first phase of the project was completed and cost $575,000. The second phase is scheduled for next summer.

The gamut of upgrades affected dining facilities on campus. Driscoll Drive, the road leading up to the dining hall was “widened to increase visibility and improve overall vehicle circulation,” according to Klass. The project budget was $225,000.

Other campus eateries like the Faculty House, Eco Café, Paresky and Greylock received equipment upgrades. Most notably, Dining Services purchased an automatic bowl lifter for the bake shop to eliminate manual lifting of up to two hundred pound bowls of mixed bakery products – a much needed safety feature for the bakers, according to Bob Volpi, director of Dining Services.