College takes on steamy new project

The College now has a new construction eyesore on its hands, a long trench running along the rear of Green Hall near Brower Student Center. Surrounded by temporary fencing and wooden signs marking a “Temporary Sidewalk,” the work is needed to replace aging steam distribution pipes and should be done by March, weather permitting.

According to an e-mail sent Dec. 13 by the Office of Public Affairs, Facilities is working to replace an aging and failing steam line and condensation pipe. Matt Golden, director of Communications and Public Relations, said that the line being worked on was one of the oldest on campus. Golden said that while the work isn’t necessarily an emergency, its condition meant that work did have to take place during the academic year.

The trench has temporary fencing around it for pedestrian safety. The fencing cuts off the length of sidewalk that runs parallel to the rear of Green Hall which connects the sidewalks near the New Library and the Social Sciences Building.

To accommodate students and staff going to offices in Green Hall by the rear, crews have constructed a temporary walkway over the trench. Pedestrians can access the rear of the building at each end of the building and through the ramp that leads to the basement. This ramp is the only handicap-accessible entrance to Green Hall and was the reason for the temporary bridge over the trench, Golden said. The front of the building, the Holman Hall side, remains unaffected by the construction. At press time, a construction trailer was located on the grassy quad behind Green Hall and near the New Library, while a backhoe was located near the Social Sciences Building.

The work is scheduled to last a few months, and fencing should be removed by March. Although the office of Public Affairs initially estimated May for the end of the project, Golden revised the date in an e-mail.

Despite the work on the steam pipe, Golden said that steam and hot water distribution to campus should not be affected, except for a few short intervals.

While the construction is significant, its expense was planned for as part of the College’s Asset Renewal Plan. The plan is a 10-15 year timeline for the update and replacement of aging College infrastructure.

“(The plan) will help ensure reliable utilities and comfortable buildings going forward,” Golden said in an e-mail.

For students going between the New Library and Social Sciences, the construction might be inconvenient, but it should not impact those who need to get into Green Hall, Golden said.

“We understand that many students travel the walkway between Green and Social Sciences and must visit the offices in Green,” Golden said. “Our hope is that, by creating temporary paths in those areas that provide access to the doors in the back of the building, we can minimize any inconvenience caused by this project.”