Campus Sees Multiple Construction Projects over Summer Months; Some Continue into Fall

The Office of the Physical Plan (OPP) conducted over 18 projects this summer and fall on the West Quad North lawn, Samuel Phillips Hall, Cochran Chapel, dorms and faculty homes around campus. The largest project of the summer, according to Betsy Davis, Senior Capital Project Manager of OPP, was the utility project in the West Quad. Currently, OPP mechanical workers are extending a steam line from Rockwell House to Bishop Hall, which connect Bishop Hall’s pipeline to the Bancroft Hall water supply. OPP plans to have the area restored by the end of September. According to Davis, following the construction, OPP will work to restore the affected area by treating the lawn and rebuilding the walkway between the buildings. A new playground for faculty children, which was funded by an Abbot Grant, was also constructed in West Quad North. The grant included the removal of the previous outdated equipment, an excavation of the site, the installation of new playground equipment and curbing around the park. The Samuel Phillips Hall clock tower is also receiving “an exterior facelift,” according to Davis. Due to wood deterioration and decay on the tower, a fiberglass railing will replace the balustrade and the lower railing system will be repaired and repainted. The restoration of the clock tower is currently at a halt because a full restoration will require more expensive materials. Work on the clock will not resume until further notice. New glass will replace the cracked blue glass at the clock face in Samuel Phillips Hall. The workers will be deciding the best options for restoring the clock to its previous condition. The copper dome on Samuel Phillips Hall will additionally be cleaned, and the entire tower will be fully scraped and repainted beige. Over the summer, the columns on Samuel Phillips Hall were also painted beige in order to match the surrounding academic buildings on campus, according to Davis. OPP is also completely repainting the Cochran Chapel steeple. “The interesting part of the project is [that] the painting crew is performing the work from bosun chairs [which are harnesses that allow workers to be suspended level to the structure]. [It is] quite a sight!” said Muench. Davis said that there has been a positive response to the construction on campus, and that most of the work has already been completed. According to Davis, students will not be negatively affected by the construction projects. “We hope these repairs and improvements have addressed the most pressing needs and concerns around the campus,” she said. “Students should honor the boundaries established by the projects, and stay out of fenced or marked construction zones as these are generally hard-hat areas and not safe for the general public.” Dorms and faculty homes are also undergoing reconstruction. New plants, a lawn and a stone wall replaced the thick weeds that smothered the front lawn of Flagg House, according to Davis’ press release. OPP also pruned the dense shrubs surrounding Stowe House, Newton- Hinman House, Burtt House, Allen House and Newman House. Workers also repaired and repainted Phelps House, Newman- Hinman House, Pease House, Samaritan House and Jackson House as needed. OPP renovated Stimson House, Samaritan House, Bartlet Hall and Smith House by repainting rooms and installing new flooring and lighting. After the several snowfalls last winter, many roof repairs were necessary in Graves Hall, Foxcroft Hall, Graham House and Stimson House No new projects have begun at the Addison gallery, though the fencing area has expanded over the Great Lawn. Over the next few weeks, the fencing will be removed and the grassy area will be replanted.