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ISSUE 119 VOL 2 PUBLISHED 9/23/2005

Renovations revamp hill

By April Wright
Contributing Writer

Friday, September 23, 2005

Returning students might have noticed some changes on campus as they moved into their residence halls in the fall. This year has witnessed many improvements to campus facilities, in terms of aesthetics, convenience and sustainability.

One of the most visible improvements is the addition of signs in front of academic buildings and residence halls. These signs clearly display the names of each of the buildings.

They are on the road side of the buildings, as they are intended for drivers and not pedestrians on campus. There are plans to add smaller versions of the signs to the sidewalk sides of the buildings, for pedestrian traffic.

The signs were designed by Steve Carpenter, and completed by his firm Archetype.

According to Pete Sandberg, assistant vice president for facilities, the new signs are the first phase in a new signage program.

There are other signage improvement plans for the campus, such as new directories at each major campus intersection, which will hopefully be installed in the spring. Also, the signs newly hung throughout the inside of Rolvaag Library will be improved.

Some of the on-campus theaters also received attention this past summer. The Speech-Theater Building had its roof refurbished and Kelsey Theater received what Sandberg called a "facelift." Theater improvements were completed by the Theater Department, Assistant Facilities Director Bill Nelson, the SMSQ Architects and Assistant Professor of Art Steve Edwins and participants from the art department.

Possibly the most interesting improvements for students are the continued efforts to replace old dorm furniture as it wears out. Sandberg mentioned how professors and faculty members forget about residence hall life when they go home.

"It's easy to not think … about what happens here when we go home to more comfortable settings than our students have," he said. "Whatever makes it better for them is better for all of us."

The replacement of student furniture is annual and done as-needed as furnishings complete their life cycles. Over 400 residence hall rooms were repainted as well.

Already known to Ole baseball fans, new dugouts were constructed out on the baseball fields. The dugouts were finished early in the summer by a team of carpenters and painters.

Relating to the theme of sustainability, the campus made some "green" improvements. The wind turbine is the most apparent, but a composting program and facilities are under construction and due to be completed in the near future.

The heating plant also had a few changes made to improve efficiency. Namely, an older boiler will be replaced with a new, more efficient, smaller boiler, which may not occur this year, but is planned for sometime in the not-too-distant future.

The funding for most of these projects comes from St. Olaf’s capital fund, with the exception of the wind turbine, which received a great deal of funding from Xcel Energy.

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