Repairs and renovations around campus

By Sara Hollabaugh, Online Editor
Recently renovated and constructed buildings on campus have already received repairs this semester.

Before the repairs, steps outside of Merrick Hall were cracked and part of the Sexuality and Gender Equality (SAGE) house had a water leak in the ceiling of the newly constructed Dittrick House.

According to Thomas Wolber, associate professor of modern foreign lan- guages, it was announced in the faculty meeting on Oct. 21 that the university needs $15 million worth of repairs made to the campus.

Wolber said Ohio Wesleyan currently has $300,000 allocated for repairs to be made this year.

Merrick Hall’s renovations were nearly finished before the graduation ceremony in 2015, but was officially rededicated and opened Aug. 20, 2015.

A little over a year after the rededication, the steps cracked.

According to Peter Schantz, director of physical plant planning and operations, the contractor used a non-water-proof sealant during the construction of the stairs.

“Around the handrail posts where the posts are cored into the concrete … the sealant took on water and froze over the last winter, cracking the corners of the steps,” Schantz said.

Schantz said the contractor made the necessary repairs under warranty.

SAGE was completed before students moved back to school in August, and was dedicated Oct. 6.

Since students have lived in SAGE this semester, a shower drain leaked on the upper level, resulting in a ceiling stain.

Schantz said the contractor repaired the leak under warranty, but the ceiling stain has not been repaired.

Senior Natalie French, SAGE resident, said Buildings and Grounds told SAGE they would paint the ceiling when they were positive the leak was fixed.

Schantz said the leak was fixed over two months ago.

“We haven’t heard anything since then,” French said.

Schantz said, “We plan to repaint the kitchen ceiling over Thanksgiving break when it’s more convenient for students.”

In addition to the leak in SAGE, Inter- Faith House’s (IF) residents said outlets were not working in their part of the Dittrick House when they first moved in.

Schantz said they’ve received three work orders since students moved into the house in August and believes each issue was taken care of.

“Two of the work orders were for outlets in the upstairs bathroom, where the ground fault circuit interrupter breaker tripped,” Schantz said. “This is not uncommon in damp environments. The contractor showed a resident how to reset this breaker at the outlet when it tripped.”

Schantz said the breaker is likely to trip again, but the outlets themselves do not have any issues.

Aside from new construction repairs, there was a steam leak on the academic side of campus that affected Sturges Hall, Elliott Hall, Slocum Hall and University Hall.

On Oct. 24, Cole Hatcher, director of media and community relations, sent out a school-wide email about the issue.

The next day, Oct. 25, Hatcher, on behalf of Schantz, followed up with the campus community.

“While working to fix the steam line issue affecting Sturges Hall, we discov- ered a condensate leak involving the main line as well,” Schantz said in the email. “To enable us to make repairs, we will not be able to heat these build- ings overnight: Beeghly, Corns, Elliott, Slocum, Sturges and University.”

Schantz continued to send out updates and assured the OWU community that repairs were being made overnight.

By Oct. 28, Schantz said the repairs were complete and warned the commu- nity about potential temperature fluctua- tions in buildings surrounding the former leak.

“We know it is older and could de- velop issues again,” Schantz said. “We are reviewing options for replacing the line or installing stand-alone boilers in each of these buildings.”

“We are gathering invoices from the repair crews that worked on the steam line,” Schantz said. “The university is reviewing options for funding steam line replacement or boiler installations.”

As of now, Schantz said warranty is covering the repairs.