This is the sixth edition of my “Desk Notes.” For those of you who have not been here this summer, the original concept of the “Desk Notes” was to give a little more insight to staff and faculty on the ongoing construction during the summer. I am uncertain whether I should continue through the academic year as I am acutely aware of the competition for the time and attention of the staff and faculty. On the other hand, I guess you can just hit “delete.” Let me know your thoughts.
We have the usual nail-biting finish to some of our summer projects. No matter how much we plan and schedule, “Murphy” always seems to find a way to inject his/her presence into the process. Parking Lot 10G (next to Fraser Lecture Hall) was restriped to optimize the available parking. We were able to provide four more parking spaces in that area. Parking Lot 17G (in the back of the Engineering Technology Building) has been paved and striped, finally. We were also able to get two more parking spaces in that area by being very precise with the spacing. That project was delayed by a fire protection water line that was not where it was supposed to be. The Parks Hall ground floor got substantially finished in time to move staff and faculty into it. We are still working off the punch list (corrections list) for that project. The reconfiguration of space in Haggard Hall for Academic Technology and User Services was finished just in time to get ATUS moved. Again, we are still working off the punch list for that project. Thanks to ATUS for their collaboration and cooperation.
With the completion of the repaving of Parking Lot 17G, traffic will be redirected to go through that lot prior to proceeding past the steam plant. This alteration of the normal traffic flow is intended to increase safety for those vehicles proceeding past the construction area around Miller Hall. “Drop off” traffic (I almost said “Kiss and Drop” traffic, but I know that is non-pc, so I didn't) will be encouraged to unload at the kiosk by the steam plant.
The asbestos abatement has been completed in Miller Hall's 1960s wing. “Normal” demolition is now proceeding in preparation for the new construction work to begin in October.
I am going to mention a non-construction project that I am responsible to produce. Believe it or not, the Office of Sustainability reports to me, and they have come up with an outstanding draft of Western's Climate Action Plan. This is a plan required by Western's signature on the Presidents' Climate Commitment, and it outlines how Western is going to become Green House Gas Neutral -- not in the distant future, but comparatively soon -- through the purchase of offsets. The Office of Sustainability will be sponsoring three presentations during October to acquaint the campus community with the Climate Action Plan. Brown bag sessions will be held:
- Noon Wednesday, Oct. 7, in Science Lecture (SMATE Bldg.) Room 110
- 5:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 12, in Science Lecture (SMATE Bldg.) Room 140
- 8:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, in Viking Union Room 462 A&B
As the current draft Climate Action Plan makes several recommendations that have resource implications, I would like to recommend that you attend one of these sessions and acquaint yourself with the recommendations and provide input to the Office of Sustainability so that the final draft truly reflects the perspectives of the Western community.
On other projects of significance:
- Environmental Studies Room 100, Parks Hall Room 104 and Parks Hall Room 228 have new fixed seating and will be ready to occupy before classes start. The chairs are designed to spin around to face backward so students can work in small groups. All three rooms have new flooring.
- Tiger Construction has substantially completed the reconfiguration of the south campus bike and pedestrian pathways. The jury is still out as to whether pedestrians and bicyclists will use the new pathways in lieu of East College Way. If you are a pedestrian or bicyclist and haven't tried them, please do so. You never can tell, you might meet someone on the new paths who will make a difference in your life.
- Humanities Building ventilation improvements: The occupants of Humanities are seeing an increased flow of air into the interior and classroom areas. That project is undergoing final inspection and certification.
- We have completed the installation of new domestic water pumps and a new fire pump in the Environmental Studies Building. The domestic water pumps are fully operational, while the new fire pump must undergo some more testing before it is formally certified. The new, larger, back-up emergency generator for the new fire pump will be arriving in October and will be installed at that time. Any electrical outages necessary to install the new generator will be scheduled during off hours or on a weekend.
- The Chemistry Building addition project is proceeding according to schedule. Selective demolition of existing mechanical and electrical systems is nearly complete. Chemistry Building personnel have been very accommodating during utility shut-downs. The addition foundations are complete, and support column formwork is being erected. Within the next few weeks, new walls will be framed within the existing building and mechanical/electrical installation will begin. The addition steel framework is now being fabricated and is expected on campus within a couple of weeks.
- The Wilson Library Special Collections project is at the exciting stage of the project when drywall is installed on the walls and there is a clearer sense of how the spaces will feel when completed. Work on the roof will take place very soon, before the rains become continuous. They will be finished on the sixth floor around the holiday break. As soon as Special Collections moves to the sixth floor, the second-floor space they currently occupy will be transformed into a Collaborative Learning center, during January and February.
- The Parks Hall ground floor remodel is still progressing very well. We are working on punch lists and checking out all the utilities. The floor is ready to support students, staff and faculty members.
- We are still struggling with the new pump system at the Shannon Point Marine Center. We have the pump replaced and operational, but now one of the drain lines to the new seawater holding tank has failed. My own sterling command of the English language failed me when I heard this last report and, I must confess, I resorted to an assortment of Anglo-Saxon epithets. Fortunately, this latest setback simply reinforced the determination of the project team to overcome all obstacles and make the system work.
All for now. Welcome back everyone.