Campus Buildings Receive Summer Renovations, Repairs

Olivia DrakeAugust 24, 201111min
Wesleyan's Physical Plant-Facilities staff has been busy this summer with several construction projects. The Public Affairs Center's restoration includes exterior carpentry repairs, gutter repairs, minor roofing repairs and chimney repointing. Painters also removed lead paint from the roof balustrade. The perimeter balustrade, soffits and metal railings around the building were prepped and painted. Inside, several classrooms received refinished tables, new seating and millwork. Next summer, the PAC's patio and stairs will be repaired.
Contractors repaired the PAC's chimney, applied liquid waterproofing material, and repaired the slate shingle roof.

Physical Plant replaced 984 toilets, 99 urinals and 746 shower heads in wood frames residences, traditional dorms and larger campus buildings like Exley Science Center, Hall Atwater/Shanklin, Freeman Athletic Center, Olin Library and North College (pictured). This measure will reduce the university's annual water consumption by 15 million gallons, reducing cost by $160,000 annually, and pay for itself in just over four years.
Romance Languages received window replacements, interior and exterior lights, an updated kitchenette, new flooring, a new ramped entrance and new common room doors.
At WesShop, contractors replaced glass windows with solid surface panels and upgrading the refrigeration system with new industry standard cases, premium efficiency condensing units and LED lighting. This measure addresses a long standing problem with the refrigeration which was very high maintenance, and grossly inefficient. In addition, the amount of food that can now be kept in inventory will increase and the combination of frozen foods and produce has been expanded to better meet the students needs. In combination with improvements to systems at Usdan University Center's and Summerfields's dining facilities, this work will reduce electrical consumption by 180,000 kilo-Watt hours annually and pay for itself in six years.
Judd Hall received a portico entry roof replacement and new flashing Aug. 5-8.
Foss Hill Residence Hall received a roof replacement. Construction began on Aug. 8 and ended Aug. 22. The complex also received an exterior stair renovation, new railings and bluestone stair treads.
The squash building renovation project expands the building into classrooms and faculty offices. It will include a 17-foot addition to the west increasing the building size from 13,000 to 21,000 gross square feet.It will house the Career Center, College of Letters and the Art History Department. (Photos by Olivia Drake)

Other campus buildings received major renovations and conservation projects this summer:

High Rise Residence Hall received construction work on the second and third floors, fresh paint, elevator rope repairs and some remodeled kitchenettes and restrooms. Butterfield Residence Hall received a fire alarm installation, new common area carpet and an electrical upgrade. The Center for the Arts received a theater rigging replacement. Crowell Concert hall received an entry landing replacement.

Freeman Athletic Center and Davison Art Center received a roof replacement. PIMMS received new windows, exterior painting and vinyl siding. Russell House received a ceiling restoration and new lighting fixture to better illuminate the stair vestibule. The Vine Street Tennis Courts needed repairs and repainting. The courts will reopen at the start of the school year.

Physical Plant is undergoing its third round of conservation measures that the university has undertaken in the last five years.

“Through these programs and the efforts of the campus community as a whole, the university has already reduced its energy consumption by 22 percent,” says Peter Staye, associate director of utilities management. “A fourth round of conservation measures is currently in development.”

This project includes:

Insulating 13 buildings, which will save approximately $48,000 in annual energy costs and pay for themselves in less than three years;

Installing a water-side economizer on the chilled water system in the central power plant. This measure marks the completion of a five-year effort to redesign the chilled water system that services campus and will allow for the generation of chilled water during the early spring and late fall, which was not previously possible.  The benefit of this system will be realized next spring when the power plant is able to make chilled water during those unseasonably hot days in March and April, with profound impacts in buildings that do not have operable windows, like Exley, Hall Atwater and Usdan. It will cause a savings in electrical expense of about $14,000 annually.

Updating the lighting in CFA Theater, Fisk Hall and Olin to include occupancy sensors in Olin’s stacks and thesis carrels, and replacement of 120 theatrical lighting instruments in the CFA Theater. The new theater lighting instrunments will use 1/2 of the electricty consumed by the existing fixtures, and produce far more light with far better control. In sum these measures will reduce electrical consumption by $50,000 a year, and pay for themselves in 5 years.

These projects, in combination with other smaller measures are expected to reduce the universitys annual utilities costs by $380,000.  The project as a whole received a grant of $609,000 from the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund.  Carbon emmisions are projected to decrease by 1,105 metric tons, Staye estimates.

A full list of major maintenance projects can be viewed online here.