The College is taking steps to resolve the problems discovered earlier this fall by the Chapin Hall fire code violations. Late last week, the College received a building permit to commence construction on the stage and upgrade other aspects of the building.
According to Jim Kolesar, director of public affairs, the changes in Chapin will entail building a new stage extension with non-flammable materials, upgrading the fire alarm system and emergency lighting and altering the exits. All of these changes address the issues brought to the College’s attention by the building inspector at the beginning of the semester.
The total cost for the work on the building is estimated to be $165,000, according to Kolesar. “The project is being funded through capital funds, which are programmed each year for projects of this type,” he said.
Kolesar explained that the permit was necessary prior to beginning work because state law requires a permit for any building improvements “deemed to be beyond ordinary maintenance,” he said. The permit application, which is submitted to the building inspector, details the construction plans and identifies the contractor who will carry out the work.
The fire code violations and the consequence of discovering them originally caused discontent among those who use the space for performances, but Kolesar expressed hope that the changes in Chapin could be completed in a timely fashion. “We expect that work will be completed in time for use of the stage extension next semester,” he said, adding that the space can currently be used without the extension during the interim.