Rachel Wachman '24May 10, 20216min
The Peter Morgenstern-Clarren ’03 Social Justice Awards recognize students and staff members who promote social justice and activism on campus and beyond. This year, the staff recipients are Mario Torres, who works for Physical Plant, and Astrid Vidal, a Service Management Group employee who works in residence halls. The student recipient is Kevonte Payton ’22. The award was created in memory of Morgenstern-Clarren, who dedicated his time on campus to social justice. “His activism included securing benefits for Wesleyan custodial staff, participating in the United Student and Labor Action Committee, and contributing his leadership to the campus chapter of Amnesty…

Olivia DrakeMarch 5, 20213min
Ninety-nine thousand and counting. That's how many times Wesleyan students, faculty, and staff have stuck, swiped, and swirled cotton swabs in their nasal cavities over the past seven months at the Wesleyan COVID-19 testing facility, with hopes for that negative result indicating no presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA. "Implementing an effective testing program was essential to returning for in-person learning," said Associate Vice President/Dean of Students Rick Culliton, who spearheads Wesleyan's Curricular Contingency Planning Task Force (CCPTF). "Our number one priority is keeping the campus community safe. Having accurate, timely test results has been critical to identifying and containing any cases…

Lauren RubensteinJune 24, 20192min
Every summer, when campus is relatively quiet, the Facilities Team is hard at work maintaining, renovating, and upgrading all of Wesleyan’s buildings and grounds. Part of this work involves the large-scale replacement of furniture in residential facilities—a process that has recently been made more environmentally friendly thanks to a partnership with IRN, an organization dubbed “The Reuse Network.” According to Jeff Sweet, Wesleyan’s associate director of facilities management, the University has partnered with IRN for the past three years to recycle old residential furniture that is being replaced. IRN “matches the needs of charities and nonprofits throughout the world with…

Olivia DrakeDecember 6, 20182min
Six students in the Introduction to Environmental Studies course traded their notebooks, backpacks, and pens for wrenches, electronic temperature control meters, and even plungers as part of a special project involving staff from Wesleyan's Physical Plant. Throughout the fall semester, the students partnered up with an electrician, a plumber, material handlers, temperature control mechanics, and others to learn about trades and to form friendships with the staff who keep Wesleyan running behind the scenes. On Nov. 29 the students presented their experiences—through talks, performances, music, and graphics—to fellow classmates and Physical Plant staff. (more…)

Olivia DrakeAugust 7, 20182min
On May 29, Wesleyan's Physical Plant–Facilities personnel began their 2019 fiscal year major maintenance and capital projects. The University is investing in projects at 120 locations on campus, which are described in this interactive map. "Each year the work is prioritized, then scheduled to minimize the impact on the academic calendar," said Joyce Topshe, associate vice president for facilities. "Consequently, much of the work is done during the summer. Projects include modernizing our infrastructure, energy conservation, structural repairs, replacing roofs and windows, and renovating dozens of buildings." Projects this summer include: Demolition and renovation of the second-floor bathroom at 146 Cross…

Olivia DrakeApril 27, 20174min
In honor of Arbor Day on April 28, Wesleyan is celebrating the planting (or proposed planting) of more than 45 new trees on campus in 2017. Pale-pink blossoming cherry trees, a hardy pin oak, an endangered dawn redwood and a Chinese lobed-leaf Ginkgo biloba are among the new perennial plantings peppered across the Wesleyan landscape. Since trees become a permanent fixture, Grounds Manager Rob Borman takes many factors into consideration before tilling up any soil and planting roots. He notes the history of campus; the existing tree canopy; what trees will thrive in Connecticut’s climate; proximity to buildings, sidewalks and roads;…

Olivia DrakeApril 19, 20172min
A tennis court renovation, a cooling tower replacement, and an informal outdoor classroom construction are among Physical Plant-Facilities projects this summer. Physical Plant-Facility's capital projects will include: Comprehensive Energy Phase 10 – LED lighting upgrades to Exley Science Center and other efficiency measures. Tennis Court Renovation – replacing half the courts and repairing the other half as a partnership with the City of Middletown. The RJJulia Wesleyan Bookstore at 413 Main Street. 116 Mt. Vernon – Renovate and convert to Shapiro Writing Center. Renovations to selected science offices and facilities Informal Learning and Outdoor Classrooms – improvements campuswide to refresh underutilized…

Olivia DrakeAugust 10, 20152min
On July 16, Physical Plant began spearheading a College Row sidewalk replacement project. After removing the existing concrete sidewalk, that spans from Church Street to Wyllys Avenue, contractors installed a 13-foot-wide asphalt path that will accommodate large groups of people, such as campus tours. The existing path was 8-feet-wide. "This sidewalk has a large amount of foot traffic all year round," said Wesleyan grounds manager Rob Borman. "The concrete sidewalks around campus also have shown considerable decay, primarily due to salt use in winter." The wider sidewalk also will allow grounds maintenance staff to remove snow faster and easier by using a larger machine. Asphalt,…

Lauren RubensteinMarch 10, 20151min
The Exley Science Center’s first level, which underwent renovations earlier this year, has been outfitted with all new furniture, offering a variety of seating options. According to Brandi Hood, senior project coordinator with Construction Services, the lobby boasts 34 new lounge seats with end tables (each with USB and power outlets); four tables with 15 low-top study seats; six tables with 24 high-top café seats; and nine standing countertop kiosks for those looking to charge a cell phone or take a quick break. “This seating was chosen to provide a variety of comfortable, single and group seats, (more…)