By Noah Vargas
Elm Staff Writer
With the new academic year, Washington College’s campus saw several changes, namely renovations to both Minta Martin and Reid Halls. Over the past summer, there was a reworking of these buildings, including structural developments such as roofing, according to previous Elm coverage. These renovations finished in time for the incoming Class of 2026. During the past few weeks, however, students have reported sightings of bats living in Reid Hall, one of these being sophomore Evan Merk.
“The bats first started being seen in the building last Wednesday and have been seen multiple times since,” Merk said. “Mostly on the second floor and in our common room in the basement.”
According to previous Elm coverage, this has happened before. Reid was originally constructed in the year 1896, making the issue of bats a problem for decades.
“These buildings are old, even freshly renovated, so issues like these are to be expected,” Merk said. “Public Safety has been good about responding to calls regarding the bats and helping us remove them from the building if students don’t do it themselves.”
If students see and are having problems with the bats, they can call Public Safety for aid at 410-778-7810.
Looking to the future, Merk is optimistic. “I’m hoping they find the bats’ entrance point into the building and find a way to close it up,” Merk said. “They’re clearly continuing to enter over and over again, and finding where they are doing that from seems like the solution.”
Assistant Director of Residential Life Devin Spinks commented that this is something that the school has been preparing for every year. “The day after the first bat sighting, Buildings and Grounds Director Stan Yeakel came in to ask when a good time would be to schedule the bat netting around the top of the building, and at that point he did not have any knowledge of the bats, so it was already in the plans for the college,” Spinks said.
Although this is a difficult situation, Merk is staying positive. “It’s been a lively time in Reid, but it’s been fun,” Merk said. “They’re just here to get their BATchelors degree.”
Over the coming weeks, Public Safety and the Department of Facilities will be removing the bats by whatever means, including creating a tool that keeps bats out, while providing them an exit from the building. This is all to be handled by the Office of Buildings and Grounds.
If concerns or questions arise, the student body can contact the office through their email at email@example.com.
Photo courtesy of Grace Hazlehurst
Photo Caption: Newly-renovated Reid Hall has recently been reported to have bats inside.