Work on Chapin to finish this week

The extensive building and fire code upgrade project in Chapin Hall that began in June is expected to be completed this week, with the building ready for use in the spring semester. In September, the construction team issued a notice that the auditorium was expected to be reopened for use around Dec. 1.

According to Bruce Decoteau, Facilities’ senior project manager, the contractor is just “cleaning up and finishing details” on the project. Final inspection should occur next week, and the College will be able to start moving things back into the building next weekend.

“Final inspections by the Williamstown Department of Inspection Services are scheduled for this week,” Decoteau said.  Those inspections are necessary before Chapin can be reoccupied for use. “If we do receive that certification,” said Steve Klass, vice president for Campus Life, “then we’ll basically be on track with what we initially projected.”

According to Klass, “Chapin wasn’t anticipated to be open for events on Dec. 1, but [we] initially anticipated having the project wrapped up by then so clean-up and any other moving and/or prep-work could take place.”

“As with any other project, there were complexities we did not anticipate,” Decoteau said.

However, Klass said that being just shy of the proposed project deadline is a “great outcome when you’re dealing with historic buildings and the unanticipated conditions one typically encounters in complex projects like this one.”

The project involves code upgrades for Chapin Hall, including a fire protection system, interior storm windows for acoustics and insulation in the attic space for energy efficiency. The upgrades were necessary for the school to continue to use the building.

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