News & Publications
Letter Home, Fall 2008
Facilities Projects Nearing Completion
G.K. Chesterton once wrote, "An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered." From that standpoint, it's been an adventurous semester for students, faculty and staff who have had to endure the inconveniences of a major construction project underway on the Annapolis campus.
Backhoes on campus will soon disappear.
For many months, the campus has resembled the site of an archeological dig, as construction crews dug up 50-year-old steam pipes—some buried 12 feet deep in the ground—and replaced them with the new pipes from the college's new hot-water heating plant. The $5 million project began soon after students left for the spring semester and will be complete by the end of December. For months, orange fencing blocked off parts of campus as crews worked on the project, and campus denizens had more than a few inconveniences to tolerate. However, all but the finishing touches of this major project are complete.
"The boilers are on, the heat is circulating, and now we're working on the control system and site restoration," said Lisa Seaman-Crawford, director of operations for the college.
The Central Heating Plant Project included the installation of two new energy-efficient boilers and a hot-water heating system that replaces an outdated steam system. In recent years, frequent leaks in the steam pipes often required emergency repair.
Other than enduring an eyesore and tolerating construction noise, students needed patience and good humor for the times when construction affected life in the dormitories and other campus buildings. Operations Director Lisa Seaman-Crawford said power and phone service was occasionally cut off when trenching crews cut lines; at certain times, water service had to be cut off as well.
Twice, crews had to stop digging and alert city authorities when they encountered bones; in both instances, these turned out to be animal bones. A city archeologist was on site at times during the project, Ms. Seaman-Crawford noted, and while a few shards of pottery were unearthed, "nothing of historical significance was found."
The Central Heating Plant Project was begun after classes let out in May and continued through the summer. The project will be completed by the end of the fall semester. By mid-October, heat was available for all students, though repairs occasionally disrupted service.
A second major project, the installation of sprinklers and fire alarms in the Humphreys and Campbell dorms was started and completed over the summer. The new fire alarm system provides a safer environment for students and enables security and maintenance personnel to pinpoint the exact source of the alarm for a quicker response. In addition, the college installed new campus signs and has been sprucing up Iglehart Hall, the college's gymnasium.