By Ashley Bowden
Arts & Entertainment Editor
Students returning to campus treaded on new pavement this fall semester after the facilities services crew worked over the summer to improve the campus. Roads were paved on University Drive, Post Lane and Pioneer Blvd. On the south side of Humanities, the walkway and stairs were replaced, and a new irrigation sprinkler system was installed on the eastern side of the Great Lawn between Winnick House and Humanities. In addition, the old carpeting was removed from the walls in the Hillwood Commons lobby and the walls were painted green, according to Roy Fergus, new director of facilities services. Fergus, who previously worked as an Aramark consultant, took over as head of facilities services for the Post and Brooklyn campuses in July, replacing Bill Kirker, who retired after 22 years.
The largest renovation project which is still underway is the “Museum Project,” which will be located in the library. The portico area of the Hudson Gallery in the basement level of the library is being retrofitted to become a part of the new Steinberg Art Museum. This renovation will ensure the entire area has a much larger viewing space than the previous location on the second floor of Hillwood Commons. This task has proven to be the most complicated. “Because the stacks area next to the library is included a couple of floors down, it’ll be like a fishbowl: a glass enclosed area with a walkway around it. In the stacks area, you’ll be able to look in, and there will also be storage areas for artwork,” Fergus said.
Facilities services have also been working on the campus-wide addition of 30 smart boards to classrooms. This will contribute to meeting their strategic goals for improving academic spaces. Smartboards have been installed in Lorber Hall, Pell Hall and the library so far, and seven more boards remain to be installed.
“The plan is that all projects will be essentially completed for the start of the fall semester,” Fergus disclosed the week before classes began. Weekly meetings with Conference Services and Residential Life have ensured that construction continued with no hindrances. “There are weather issues and delivery issues, but all within the plan, we’re able to execute the projects,” Fergus said.
Once the summer projects are completed, Fergus and his team are already preparing for their next summer project. “We’re doing lots of planning, lots of expert purchasing of services,” Fergus said. “That’s all being done in the fall for next summer’s preparation activities.”