Summer construction spills into fall

Summer construction spills into fall

by Joshua BrammerStaff Writer

Simpson was a busy place this summer. Over the last three months, Campus Services has been working to complete a number of different construction projects all over campus.

The list of projects is a long one, which includes adding parking behind the Brenton Student Center, a new fire suppression system in the Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority and the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, and new roofing on several buildings.

According to Jesus Mendez, director of campus services, one of the biggest projects was updating both Colonial and Washington Apartments.

“We installed new plumbing, added sprinkler systems and replaced parts of the sewer system in both buildings,” Mendez said. “The kitchen cabinets and carpet were also replaced, so it was almost a total remodel.”

The other large project this summer was the replacement of the ceiling and lights in Dunn Library. The old ceiling was installed in 1964.

“Since the ceiling and lighting were installed about 40 years ago, there were some safety concerns, and the administration decided it was time for them to be replaced,” Cyd Dyer, college librarian and archivist, said.

In addition to the ceiling and lighting, the office located in the back of the library has been converted to a study room, and new couches and chairs have been purchased for the area. Dyer also said several new study tables have been purchased for the second floor of the building.

Another major priority for Campus Services was the installation of fire alarms and suppression systems in several student housing facilities.

“The new systems in the Kappa Kappa Gamma house and the Lambda Chi Alpha house, as well as new fire alarms in Picken Hall bring us to about 90 percent of student housing that is protected,” said Gary Dooley, assistant director of Campus Services.

Ken Birkenholtz, vice president for business and finance, said that about $1.7 million was budgeted for all the projects.

“The Colonial/Washington project cost about $650,00 and the Dunn Library project cost about $340,000,” Birkenholtz said. “The other major project, College Hall, will cost about $150,000 when it is finished. We should come pretty close to the amount budgeted.”

Birkenholtz said the funding for the projects came for a variety of sources. Simpson did not receive any grants or donations for the projects, except the Bill Buxton Stadium project.

“Several of the buildings have endowment funds for maintenance, and other funding was taken from operating surpluses of past years, which are normally put back into the facilities,” Birkenholtz said. “We also had about $400,000 left over from bonds that were sold a couple of years ago that went toward the projects.”

Both Birkenholtz and Mendez said they were pleased with the progress that was made this summer.

“Everyone involved did a tremendous job,” Mendez said. “I’m glad to have a team behind me that is supportive and knowledgeable. We made a lot of progress, and I feel lucky to work in a place where people are proud of where they work.”