Tag Archive for Physical Plant

Wesleyan Celebrates Arbor Day with 45 New Tree Plantings

This spring, crews are planting new trees at multiple locations on campus. 

This spring, crews are planting new trees at multiple locations on campus.

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; surrounding landscape; how it would affect snow plowing, mowing and other grounds maintenance; and benefits to the environment.

“We also consider the Wesleyan tour route and high visibility areas, and we always value feedback from the Wesleyan community,” Borman said. “All of this is considered both for time of planting, as well as the tree’s full maturity.”

trees

Click to enlarge the 2017 campus tree map.

The trees and their planned locations include:
One birch cluster in front of the Freeman Athletic Center;
Two Norway spruce on Warren Street near the Freeman Athletic Center;
23 Yoshino cherry trees along Vine Street;
Eight Kwanzan cherry trees near West College;
Two red maples, two red oaks and one pin oak near the Foss residences;
One Ginkgo in front of the Public Affairs Center;
Two paper bark maples, a birch cluster and dawn redwood between the Davison Art Center and Davison Health Center;
Two paper bark maples near the Center for African Studies;
One red maple across from Alpha Delta Phi;
One hybrid elm in front of Judd Hall;
And one red oak in the center of College Row.

Since 2014, Borman has led the effort to plant more than 230 trees and shrubs on campus.

Wesleyan’s efforts have contributed to the City of Middletown receiving an Arbor Day Foundation Tree City USA designation for 27 years.

While many trees grow up, others come down.

“We try to avoid cutting down existing trees at all costs,” Borman explained. “If we remove a tree, it’s because the tree has died, it was injured due to a storm, it is too close to structures or construction projects, or it is a safety hazard to the community. We always try to plant one tree for every felled tree.”

Wesleyan grounds will continue to plant more species in the fall.

Eight Kwanzan flowering cherry trees are planted near the West College Courtyard. They will be in full bloom in early May.

Eight Kwanzan flowering cherry trees are planted near the West College Courtyard. They will be in full bloom in early May.

Update from Physical Plant-Facilities: Summer Projects

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 spaces and enable collaboration and study as well as provide additional outdoor classrooms

Highlights of major maintenance projects to be completed this summer are:

  • Olin Library’s “envelope” renovation — parts of the building that physically separate the exterior environment from the interior environment.
  • HighRise – new fire alarm system.
  • Center for the Arts Studio North and CFA Theater – electrical transformer replacements.
  • Steamline replacement along South College
  • 200 High Street – replace all roofing.
  • Hall-Atwater – replace perimeter roof over third floor.
  • South / North College Connector – replace second floor windows and first floor fixed glass panels and doors.
  • Central Power Plant cooling tower replacement – expanding chilled water capacity for campus by 30 percent.

Accessibility projects addresses this summer include the replacement of the accessible ramp on the north elevation, the south entrance to Exley Science Center and the Office of Admission’s patio.

Wesleyan Celebrates Installation of Its New Solar Photovoltaic System

City of Middletown Mayor Daniel Drew, Wesleyan President Michael Roth, and former Vice President for Finance and Administration John Meerts participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony Nov. 1 for Wesleyan's new photo

City of Middletown Mayor Daniel Drew, Wesleyan President Michael Roth, and former Vice President for Finance and Administration John Meerts participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony Nov. 1 for Wesleyan’s new ground-mounted solar photovoltaic system. Following the ceremony, President Roth and Meerts flipped on the switch that activated the 25-panel system.

On Nov. 1, Wesleyan celebrated the installation of a 750 kW-AC ground-mounted solar photovoltaic system, or solar farm, located near Physical Plant, at the corner of Long Lane and Wadsworth Street.

New Patios to Provide Seating Areas along College Row

As part of the College Row sidewalk renovation in August, crews installed three stone patios and gardens. Once completed, seating areas and tables will offer community members and visitors areas to rest and enjoy the scenery.

Patio installation near 41 Wyllys.

Contractors work on a patio installation near 41 Wyllys on Aug. 18.

College Row Receives Safer Sidewalk Replacement

The new asphalt path on College Row is 13-feet wide.

The new asphalt path on College Row is 13-feet wide.

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, which is 100 percent recyclable, also can be milled and resurfaced easily. The black color will help melt snow and ice faster.

“The new surface will be much safer during the winter season,” Borman added.

Phase two of the project will include the installation of seating areas adjacent to the sidewalk near North College.

(Photos by Laurie Kenney)

Paving

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Exley Offers New Study Space for Students

Exley Science Center's lobby boasts more than 50 new study spots.

Exley Science Center’s lobby boasts more than 50 new study spots.

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.

cam_exley_2015-0303133512According 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,

Construction, Campus Renovations Ongoing this Summer

The Memorial Chapel and 92 Theater received a foam insulation application to above the attics to reduce humidity infiltration and provide improved HVAC control and consistency. Contractors are also painting the chapel's exterior wood sills and clock tower section this summer.

This summer, construction crews are painting the Memorial Chapel’s exterior wood sills and applying foam insulation in the attics to reduce humidity infiltration.

Dozens of major maintenance projects are underway this summer at Wesleyan.

According to Roseann Sillasen, project manager for Physical Plant-Facilities, the renovations will affect several buildings on campus.

The Davison Health Center is receiving a window restoration and solarium window replacement. The project includes restoration of existing wood sashes with new insulated glass to match current historic profiles.

The Sign House, at 64 Lawn Avenue is under construction this summer.

The Sign House, at 64 Lawn Avenue is under construction this summer.

Several wood-framed student homes are receiving upgrades. 132 High Street, 84 Home Avenue, 118 Knowles Avenue and 10 Fountain Avenue are receiving kitchen and bathroom renovations, electrical upgrades, interior paint, floor finishes and porch work. The Sign House, at 64 Lawn Avenue is getting new vinyl siding, porch repairs, a new roof, gutters and paint. 148 Church Street is receiving new windows and porch decking. The Gingerbread House at 202 Washington Street and 344, 346, 356 Washington Street are receiving fire sprinkler additions and upgrades.

Shanklin Laboratory is receiving roof repairs and restoration work. The job involves restoration and painting of the existing ornamental moulding, soffit, balusters, dormer windows and trim.

Shanklin Laboratory is receiving roof repairs and restoration work. The job involves restoration and painting of the existing ornamental moulding, soffit, balusters, dormer windows and trim.

Roofing repairs and replacements are being conducted at the Freeman Athletic Center-Bacon Field House, Shanklin Laboratory, Hall Atwater, 73 Lawn Avenue, 169 High Street, 42 Miles Avenue and Lowrise 10.

Several classrooms are receiving new furnishings, finishes, lighting and other maintenance. They include Exley Science Center 405, Anthropology 006, Crowell Concert Hall, Art Studio North, Allbritton 004, Judd 116, Romance Language B2, and 41 Wyllys 114. Music Studios 025 and Rehearsal Hall 001 will receive new acoustic doors.

Lighting upgrades also are being made in Bennet Hall, Butterfield Residences A, B and C, Crowell Concert Hall, World Music Hall, Art Studio North, the CFA Hall, Zilkha Gallery, Memorial Chapel, Clark Hall, the Fauver Residences, Foss Hill Residences, Freeman Athletic Center, Exley Science Center, North College, Usdan, the 92 Theater and the parking lot located at 170 Long Lane.

The Memorial Chapel and 92 Theater received a foam insulation application to above the attics to reduce humidity infiltration and provide improved HVAC control and consistency. Contractors are also painting the chapel’s exterior wood sills and clock tower section this summer.

Installation of the steam and condensate return pipe began on May 27.

Installation of the steam and condensate return pipe began on May 27.

Physical Plant-Facilities also is overseeing the installation of steam and condensate return piping from Olin Library to the Freeman Athletic Center. The route runs along an underground tunnel between Olin and Clark Hall to the intersection of Pine and Church Streets, then through the backyards between Pine and Fountain Avenue, across Fountain, across Warren Street and due south along Warren into Freeman. The run is about 2,000 feet long. In addition, campus is receiving a major electrical loop replacement, ongoing through Aug. 30.

The student organization WILD Wes is working on a permaculture project at the Butterfield Courtyard near Summerfields.

The student organization WILD Wes is working on a permaculture project at the Butterfield Courtyard near Summerfields.

The student organization WILD Wes is working on a permaculture project at the Butterfield Courtyard near Summerfields. Students have installed terraced mulched beds and planted several herbs, flowers and shrubs in the beds. WILD Wes students are also working on weeding and updating the West Co. Courtyard garden. Pavers are planned to be placed in the mulched walkways.

 

Steam Pipe Construction Ongoing Throughout Summer

This summer, Physical Plant-Facilities is overseeing the installation of steam and condensate return piping from Olin Library to the Freeman Athletic Center. The route runs along an underground tunnel between Olin and Clark Hall to the intersection of Pine and Church Streets, then through the backyards between Pine and Fountain Streets, across Fountain Street, across Warren Street and due south along Warren into Freeman. The run is about 2,000 feet long.

This summer, Physical Plant-Facilities is overseeing the installation of steam and condensate return piping from Olin Library to the Freeman Athletic Center. The route runs along an underground tunnel between Olin and Clark Hall to the intersection of Pine and Church Streets, then through the backyards between Pine and Fountain Avenue, across Fountain, across Warren Street and due south along Warren into Freeman. The run is about 2,000 feet long.

Physical Plant bid the project in late 2013 and purchased the pipe in early 2014. The pipe is manufactured by Perma-Pipe Systems and is welded and insulated at each joint with a closure jacket of insulation.  The steam pipe is 8" from Olin to Fountain then 6" to Freeman, the condensate pipe is 4" the entire route. 

Physical Plant bid the project in late 2013 and purchased the pipe in early 2014. The pipe is manufactured by Perma-Pipe Systems and is welded and insulated at each joint with a closure jacket of insulation. Installation of the steam and condensate return pipe began on May 27. Installation from Olin to the corner of Pine and Church will be complete by June 12 with work in Church Street estimated to begin on June 16.

Governor Helps “Power Up” Wesleyan’s New Microgrid Project

 Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy spoke to Wesleyan President Roth about Wesleyan's microgrid project on Feb. 6. The governor helped "power up" the new microgrid, which will provide an emergency shelter at the Freeman Athletic Center to residents of Middletown in the event of a large-scale power outage.

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy spoke to Wesleyan President Roth about Wesleyan’s microgrid project on Feb. 6. In the event of a large-scale power outage, a newly-installed generator will provide power to a emergency shelter at the Freeman Athletic Center. (Photos by Olivia Drake)

Gov. Dannel Malloy, Middletown Mayor Daniel Drew, and other state and local officials were on hand March 6 to help Wesleyan celebrate and power up its new microgrid project, the first project to come online under the inaugural round of Connecticut’s first-in-the-nation statewide microgrid pilot program.

The group gathered in the lobby of the Freeman Athletic Center, near the site of Wesleyan’s 676 kW natural gas Combined Heat and Power (CHP) reciprocating engines. Using oversized shears, they cut a red ribbon, and Malloy used a computer to start the engines. The generator package will deliver 4,700 mWh annually. In the event of a widespread power outage, it will be able to power the campus in “island mode,” keeping the lights on independent from the larger electrical grid.

“This is a win-win for Wesleyan and Connecticut,” said Wesleyan President Michael Roth. “This is a great occasion to celebrate innovative ways to power our campus and prepare for emergencies… This is part of our effort to reduce risk, to increase capacity and to do those things in a sustainable way, in as clean a way as possible.”

In July 2013, Wesleyan received a $694,000 grant from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to connect the CHP engines to the campus’ electrical grid.

Bamboo WesSukkah to House Jewish Community During Sukkot, Sept. 18-26

From Sept. 18-26, Wesleyan’s Jewish community will observe the holiday of Sukkot by living, studying, holding classes, meditating, eating and socializing in a structure made completely of bamboo and steel rods. On Sept. 9-11, four members of Wesleyan’s Physical Plant staff worked full days to assemble the massive temporary structure on the lawn of Olin Library.

WesSukkah was designed by 15 students enrolled in Wesleyan's Architecture II class in 2009. For the past four years, Wesleyan's Physical Plant staff has assembled and disassembled the massive structure in honor of the holiday. It's been housed on Foss Hill, the Center for the Arts Green, and now in front of Olin Library.

WesSukkah was designed by 15 students enrolled in Wesleyan’s Architecture II class in 2009. For the past four years, Wesleyan’s Physical Plant staff has assembled and disassembled the massive structure in honor of the holiday. It’s been housed on Foss Hill, the Center for the Arts Green, and now in front of Olin Library.

Physical Plant Staff Spearheading Summer Campus Renovations, Projects

As part of Wesleyan's major maintenance projects this summer, Physical Plant- Facilities staff and local contractors inspected the manholes and made repairs to an underground piping system. On Aug. 7, crews discovered a failed drain line, which may be the cause of leaking vapors, visible during the colder months.

As part of Wesleyan’s major maintenance projects this summer, Physical Plant- Facilities staff and local contractors inspected the manholes and made repairs to an underground piping system. On Aug. 7, crews discovered a failed drain line, which may be the cause of leaking vapors, visible during the colder months.

While students are away, there’s no time for play, if you’re on the Physical Plant – Facilities staff.

“The day students move out of their campus residences, we get to work,” said Roseann Sillasen, associate director and project manager for Physical Plant – Facilities. “We get as many projects done as possible while students and faculty are away for the summer.”

Summer projects began early with replacement of the 22-year-old Andersen track at the Freeman Athletic Center. The project included an installation of a new synthetic turf field for inclement-weather games and practice field, taking pressure off the grass practice fields and Jackson Field, the principal playing field for men’s and women’s soccer as well as men’s lacrosse.  The track is expected to be completed on Sept. 3.

Contractors fill areas near The Center for the Arts Rehearsal Hall and Crowell Concert Hall after replacing several sections of 40-year-old underground steamline piping.

Contractors fill areas near The Center for the Arts Rehearsal Hall and Crowell Concert Hall after replacing several sections of 40-year-old underground steamline piping.

On May 28 work began on a mechanical system replacement inside the Center for the Arts Rehearsal Hall. This project included the consolidation of mechanical rooms, installation of a heat pump and exterior dry cooler, perimeter landscaping, tree relocation within the CFA, a new acoustic entry door to Rehearsal Hall 013 and new acoustic doors in the corridor that separates Rehearsal Hall from Crowell Concert Hall. Also on May 28, work began on the Davison Art Center’s Alsop House. The veranda received new wood decking, framing and painting. The veranda’s metal pan roof is in the process of being replaced.

On June 3, crews began renovations on the Religion Department and the Center for the Humanities. Both buildings received wall repairs, fresh paint, lights and carpet. The Center for the Americas received a porch replacement, window restoration, roof repairs and replacement of the ADA-approved entrance with composite decking.

Microgrid will Supply Power to Campus During Power Outage

The Central Power Plant team discusses the performance of the main “island mode” generator, located behind the wall on the left.

The Central Power Plant team discusses the performance of the main “island mode” generator, located behind the wall on the left.

Wesleyan’s Microgrid Project – which would allow the university to keep the lights on even during a massive power outage – was one step closer to reality last week with the award of a state grant for work on a specialized engine.

The grant, for $694,000, will pay to connect Wesleyan’s natural gas Combined Heat and Power (CHP) reciprocating engines to the campus electrical grid.

“The new microgrid will supply power to the campus 24-7,” said Joyce Topshe, associate vice president for facilities. “In the event of a power outage, the microgrid will power the campus in ‘island mode,’ enhancing Wesleyan’s ability to provide a safe environment for its students, faculty, staff and members of the Middletown community.”

Wesleyan’s grant was one of nine awarded to projects across Connecticut. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection pilot program for microgrids was launched in response to recent violent storms (Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy) that left some state residents without power for weeks.

“These projects will help protect residents and vital public services even when the power goes out,” said Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in announcing the grants.