As the Washington College community prepares for the search for a more permanent president, the campus has taken the initiative to make the rotation of power a bit easier. With new renovations to Bunting Hall, they hope to ease the transitions by installing rotating doors at every entrance, including the door to the president’s office.
These renovations are “just in case,” according to Lead Construction Manager Robert A. Builder.
Builder was contracted by the College to design and construct these entrances due to his years of experience and versatility in various projects.
According to Builder, the inspiration for the revolving doors was spurred by the College’s history of unstable administration, rotating its members, positions, duties, and titles, even leaving on short notice.
“It’s better to do one job well than two jobs…not so well,” Builder said.
The revolving doors will be composed of three compartments. The three-wing design will have ample room for both “carrying personnel” out of the building, as well as bringing in the new members.
The constant change of administration became a concern for the state of Bunting Hall. The building and its doors were made to permanently encase administrators of the College; thus,it was equipped with heavy doors and delicate hinges.
The constant opening and closing of the entrance threatened to damage the structure and decrease its value for prospective students looking for a colonial setting.
No longer will disembarking presidents have to waste precious seconds pushing the door on their way out; instead, we may welcome new and be rid of old leaders simultaneously. A short turnover time is of the essence.
Builder also said that the current administration debated on a four-wing revolving door with a segmented drum design instead, because it was “less expensive.”
Construction occurred over spring break to prevent interruption to the student learning experience in the same way the constant replacement of administrators has been distracting.
Builder advises against students tapping on the glass of the doors so as not scare away more senior staff.
“Can we fix [this crumbling administrative structure],” Builder asked his team.
While his team said they were confident in their abilities to aid the College in this endeavor, Lofty, a blue mobile crane, questioned this solution, a concern echoed by many of the College community members. Much of the concern Lofty pointed to was the structural weaknesses of the administration itself instead of the doors.
However, he was ignored.
“Um. Yeah, I think so,” the team said.
According to Builder’s Construction Assistant Wendy, there are current plans to install more revolving doors as the College furthers their plans for attrition. The possibility of more staff members being let go unbeknownst to the rest of the campus community is another pressing factor for the doors’ installations.
Revolving doors will also be incorporated at the entrances of the Registrar’s Office, according to Wendy.
For local opinion writer, Darlene Paranoia, she is glad for these changes.
“An additional minute spent trying to push my way into Bunting tainted my experiences with the building itself, and only added to the frustration I so often felt upon hearing the files I was there to acquire were available on Self-Service,” Paranoia said. “Admittedly, as someone who became stuck in a revolving door as a small child, I have a few personal reservations. But, as with all major changes, an adjustment period is needed for the full greatness to be realized.”
Students responded to these changes with overall confusion, but there is excitement, according to junior Anita Bath.
Bath lives in Middle Hall and looks at Bunting through her window every day.
“Yeah, it’s super sad seeing all of these people leave. Before I would watch each administrator walk out the door. But it would take, like, a long time because the door was so heavy. That constant banging sound was super annoying when I had to study,” Bath said.
Bath was also shocked to learn that former President Kurt Landgraf and former Provost and Dean Dr. Patrice DiQuinzio were no longer at the College. She was apparently the last person on campus to figure this out.
“I’m just glad I’ll get some peace and quiet,” Bath said. “I don’t care who’s running the place, or what this construction is, as long as it doesn’t disturb my final exams.”
It is unspecified if all campus buildings will switch to revolving doors. First, the campus needs to stay open; and second, it must find the money to do this project before they can make a final decision.
“Our school has always prided itself in its resilience and adaptability, and I feel these doors are just another way to stay ahead in an ever-changing world. Life moves fast, and we need doors that can keep up,” Paranoia said.