By Sarah Masker
While students were tanning at the beach, working as lifeguards, or spending their summer reveling in freedom away from school, Washington College was sprucing up campus with fresh paint and air conditioning units. An incredible amount of work went on to prepare for the students’ arrival.
“It was a busy summer, as always,” said Reid Raudenbush, director of buildings and grounds.
Students were advised to be careful while decorating their dorm walls; it only takes one poorly applied poster of Audrey Hepburn or James Dean to ruin the perfect white walls. Many buildings got fresh coats of paint, including the Sears House, Cullen Residence House (to both the interior and exterior), and the Hill dorms.
There were also radical changes in 100 Gibson Avenue, which was turned into another men’s dorm. The building was completely transformed with a paint job, cleaning, and new residential furniture.
Over $150,000 in reparations were made to repair the roofs, gutters, and downspouts which were damaged from the excessive snow this February. Cecil, Talbot, and Dorchester received new roofs as well, and Cullen has new fire alarms and sprinkler systems. The Lifetime Fitness Center also got attention this summer: all of the old air conditioning units were replaced.
At Harford and the Western Shore dorms, a landscaping project with underground irrigation brought in trees and other plants to enhance the new brick walkways. Public Safety installed new cameras; the campus now operates 28 security cameras.
Many of the adjustments on the WC campus this past summer were made in the interest of both student safety and comfort. Jerry Roderick, director of Public Safety, said there were a lot of “cosmetic changes.”
“The changes are fairly minor, but they go a long way. Where there was just grass or dirt there are now shrubs and trees, which will look really good in the spring,” said senior Zachariah Rogers.
While students appreciate the improved aesthetics on campus, there are other, larger changes they wish would be made. Within two days of arriving on campus, Freshman Katelyn Smith was fed up with the infamous crosswalk. “They should just build a bridge over the road,” she said.
No major construction is expected for the upcoming academic year, which means there will be no opportunities to blame the construction crew for obstructing paths to class. Next summer, however, if the state agrees to the $3,000,000 grant requested by WC, the Miller Library can expect an upgrade.
“The building would receive a new heating and cooling system (geothermal) as well as office and study area rearrangements and the improvement of archival space,” Raudenbush said.
With all these changes on campus, WC is prepared for a safe and successful academic year.