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Columbine Hall doesn’t just look, smell and feel different. It is different, following a four-week whirlwind of contractors and university employees who attacked the building following the last day of classes.
Faculty, staff and students returned to campus this week and were greeted by the smell of fresh paint, clean floors, improved lighting and a new front walkway in front of the university’s primary classroom building.
“A lot of small things were done that, hopefully, when combined, add up to an improved facility for everyone,” Carolyn Fox, university architect, said.
Fox served as the project manager for the whirlwind of off-campus contractors and Facilities Services employees who descended on the 11-year-old building following the last day of classes. The project included what Fox called a “deep cleaning” of the building including floors, carpets, walls and even acoustic panels in some large classrooms.
But the list didn’t stop with cleaning. All first floor classrooms were painted along with the hallways on the first and second floors. New corner moldings and bases were installed, new lights that are both more energy efficient and brighter were installed in rooms 128 and 317. Casual areas – also known as student hang out spaces – will be improved with carpeting, scheduled to arrive by March. Even the front walkway was re-done in an effort to improve wheelchair access.
“The bricks were removed and some of the gravel areas paved to make wheelchair access easier,” Fox said. “This spring, we will plant trees and use the donor bricks that were in the courtyard to line the planting areas.”
But the items that may make the most difference are small items. New magnetic door openers will keep stairwell doors open, except in the case of fire. And new chair glides will protect newly restored flooring.
In an effort to incorporate as many environmentally friendly materials as possible, low volatile organic compound paints were used, rubber was used for the new bases, and the carpeting is high in recycled content.
“We have to take care of what we have,” Fox said. “I am deeply appreciative of the Facilities Services crews who worked hard over the break, along with our outside contractors, to make this project possible.”
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