Tag Archive for campus buildings

Low-Grade Winter Storm Strikes Campus on Leap Day

A short snowstorm struck campus on Feb. 29. Here, students walk - and bike - through the snow across Andrus Field.

Blizzard conditions near Judd Hall.

Center for the Americas.

Students are bundled up in winter attire behind North College.

Enjoying the snow near the West College/Foss Hill student residences.

Crossing Andrus Field in the snowstorm.

Heading towards North College in white-out conditions.

Sledding on Foss Hill.

Sporting Wesleyan red and black on the college "green."

Crossing campus between the Allbritton Center and Olin Library.

Alpha Delta Phi during the snowstorm. The snow melted overnight. (Photos by Olivia Drake)

Freeman Athletic Center Celebrates New Solar Panels at Dedication Ceremony

City of Middletown Mayor Daniel Drew and Wesleyan President Michael Roth cut the ribbon during a solar panel dedication ceremony Feb. 3 in the Freeman Athletic Center lobby. On Dec. 29, the Department of Athletics acquired a new photovoltaic system with two arrays: one on the roof of the athletic center and the other in a neighboring parking lot.

President Roth speaks about the new panels, which will generate approximately 7 percent of Freeman's annual needs for electricity, and 25 percent of what Freeman consumes during daylight hours. All the electricity generated will be consumed within the building.

Tour Wesleyan’s Campus on Google Maps

Take a stroll through Wesleyan's Center for the Arts on Google Maps' "Street View."

Prospective students from around the globe who are eager to explore Wesleyan’s 340-acre campus can now do so from the comfort of their homes, thanks to a new partnership with Google.

Foss Hill, as seen on Google Maps.

Over the past few months, Google Maps has released new imagery of university campuses, including Wesleyan’s, in its “Street View” collections. Google describes its expanding collection as an “ongoing effort to create a virtual mirror of the world.”

According to a Jan. 11 Los Angeles Times story featuring Google’s virtual campus tours, “Google announced it has more than tripled the number of university partners that participate in its Street View Program, allowing parents and students to imagine strolling along the Charles River at Boston University or enjoying the sunshine at Wesleyan University’s Foss Hill, right on the computer.” Google’s updated list includes 27 universities in the U.S., 40 in Japan, two in Canada, two in Denmark, 10 in Great Britain and 11 in Taiwan, according to the Times story.

Squash Building Renovation Nearly Complete

Wesleyan contractors put the finishing touches on the remodeled squash building and faculty are moving in. The new building will re-open as the Career Center, Art History Department and College of Letters. A grand opening ceremony will be held Feb. 24. Read more about the squash renovation in this October 2011 Wesleyan Connection story.

New windows on the exterior.

A new entrance, facing the Usdan University Center.

New classroom.

The Career Center lounge on Jan. 6.

Room 203 with an exposed beam.

The central stairwell.

The central stairwell, leading out towards Usdan.

A new hallway. Restrooms on the left. Offices on the right.

Room 302 is the future office of Professor of Art Joe Siry. It shares a window arch with Room 304 and faces North College.

The new Visual Resource Center on Jan. 9.

Faculty office on Jan. 23.

Classroom, Room 114.

Classroom, Room 115.

Room 111, a conference room on Jan. 6.

(Photos by Olivia Drake and Bill Tyner ’13)

Winter Weather Finally Finds Its Way to Wesleyan

After last winter’s record snowfall (not to mention October), it’s been nice to have a taste of the opposite this year. Some snow finally fell in the third week of January reminded us all that it is still winter here at Wesleyan. Below are photos taken on Jan. 20:

Foss Hill.

Campus Buildings Receive Summer Renovations, Repairs

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.

Sweet, Velazquez, Holman Lead Small Army in Prepping Student Housing

Facilities managers Deborah Holman, Mario Velazquez and Jeff Sweet oversee Wesleyan's summer maintenance program. They have about 60 days to clean, paint, inspect and repair all rooms in Wesleyan's 225 residences.

Facilities managers Jeff Sweet, Mario Velazquez and Deborah Holman began the summer of 2011 staring down the number 2,863.

That’s the total number of beds in Wesleyan’s undergraduate housing pool – somewhat greater than the number of bedrooms in the university’s 225 residences.

In an annual rite known as the summer maintenance program, Sweet, Velazquez and Holman oversee the inspection, basic repair and cleaning of each and every room in Wesleyan’s varied housing stock, from the aptly named High Rise to the stately Eclectic Society to the multitudinous wood-frame houses.

The project amounts to a carefully choreographed dash toward the end of August – the fast approaching moment when new students arrive en mass. (Most returning students arrive in September.)

“There’s a method to our madness,” says Sweet, who joined the physical plant as a purchasing agent in 1986 and has been a facilities manager since the early 1990s.

All told, the facilities managers and their crews have about 60 days for testing thousands of lights, locks, latches, knobs, windows and appliances – and repairing them asnecessary. Painters and cleaning crews follow closely behind.

All these tasks must becarefully scheduled around temporary summer occupancies – by alumni and other visitors for Reunion and Commencement, as well as summer academic and athletic program participants – and around major renovations. (The latter work is carried out by the physical plant’s Construction Services unit.)

Along the way, a small army of tradespeople and laborers, about 120 strong, answers calls for help with emergencies, such as this summer’s flooding of the Center for the Arts due to heavy rains.

“They’re moving around doing a lot of different things,” Sweet said of the team, a dedicated and skilled crew of carpenters, painters, locksmiths, general craftsmen, electricians, plumbers and movers, mostly full-time physical plant personnel. “We’re getting work orders all the time.”

Top-to-bottom maintenance of Wesleyan’s residential buildings occurs during summer, because that’s the only season when they’re mostly empty. Planning starts during the winter.

The hard labor begins in late spring, just before Reunion and Commencement, after most underclassmen have left campus. In a burst of activity over three-and-a-half days, the maintenance team prepares 500 beds in university residences for guests. Within days theteam is in full swing campus-wide.

Come August, platoons of custodians working double shifts and deep into the night. By the end of the summer maintenance program – scheduled for August 26 – the team will have scoured every bedroom for defects large and small, fixing jammed locks and sticky windows, cleaning carpets and adding fresh paint.

In all, the project consumes about 600 gallons of floor finish, as well as about 1,000 gallons of off-white paint known as “Wesleyan white.”

Also in August the team turns to classroom buildings, athletic facilities libraries and a host of other non-residential university buildings.

Workers have occasionally found bizarre surprises in some residences as they go about their work – a five-foot headless mechanical Santa Claus found in a Pearl Street attic years ago is legendary – but this rarely happens any longer, according to Sweet. He attributes this to steady communication to students from Residential Life about rules and expectations. Not to mention fines issued for infractions discovered during the academic year.

“Waste Not,” a student organization that collects unwanted possessions in the spring and sells them in the fall, further helps to minimize unwelcome detritus, he said.

Alas, Sweet joked, referring to a campus artifact that has repeatedly vanished and rematerialized since 1957: “We didn’t find the cannon this year.”


Google Maps Wesleyan Campus

Google employee Doug Cody ’09 visited campus May 10 to record images for Google Maps. Here are some photos of the man-powered Google-bike that hauls the camera and computer:

Faculty, Staff, Community Leaders Tour Former Squash Building

Wesleyan President Michael Roth speaks during the "Squash Building Preview" tour.

Wesleyan President Michael Roth and Alan Rubacha, construction services consultant, hosted a “Squash Building Preview” tour April 26 for faculty, staff, construction contractors and local community leaders. The former Squash Building will house the Career Resource Center, College of Letters and the Art History Department.

The Squash Building, located at the north end of College Row, was built in 1934. It closed in 2002. A grand reopening is scheduled for the January 2012.

The renovation project expands the former squash 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.

The Career Resource Center will occupy the south half of the first floor and a new second floor mezzanine level. Five classrooms and a conference room will occupy the remainder of the first floor.

“For the CRC, this is like Park Avenue,” Rubacha said during the tour. “This is prime, Grade A space on campus. We just can’t wait to be done.”

The College of Letters, the Art History faculty group and Visual Resources Library will share the third floor in a more efficient and accessible configuration which includes shared spaces for administrative support, a conference room and student work areas.

This renovation will be constructed to LEED (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design) Silver standards with the hopes of achieving LEED Gold status.

Photos of the tour are below:

Sonia Mañjon, vice president for Institutional Partnerships and chief diversity officer speaks to Bob Santangelo, City of Middletown Common Council member.

Guests tour the former Squash Building, which was constructed in 1934.

In center, John Meerts, vice president for finance and administration, mingles with Middletown Fire Chief Gary Ouellette during the tour.

At right, Connecticut General Assembly Representative Matt Lesser, speaks to (from left) Joyce Topshe, associate vice president for facilities; Sonia Mañjon; and Krishna Winston, the Marcus L. Taft Professor of German Language and Literature, dean of the Arts and Humanities.

Five classrooms and a conference room will occupy sections of the first floor.

Alan Rubacha, construction services consultant, explains where the CRC will be located.

Joe Siry, professor of art history, will have a new office in the former Squash Building.

The remodeled building includes a 17-foot addition to the existing structure’s west side. (Photos by Olivia Drake)