The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Campus gets a facelift over the summer

By Daniel Kerwin

The appearance of Macalester’s campus has changed dramatically in the past couple of years with the Leonard Center and Markim Hall, but over summer break there were subtler construction projects completed that have given the campus a different look.The most prominent of these projects were the installation of a ramp on the Summit Avenue side of Dupre Hall, a paved pathway beside the Chapel, the Marvin Plaza outside the library and the remodel of a section inside Olin Rice.

Most of the projects were necessary renovations that were conveniently grouped together. The college used McGough Construction as the general contractor for the majority of the projects, the same company that built both the Leonard Center and Markim Hall.

“We packaged a number of smaller projects together and had McGough manage them,” Director of Facilities Management Mark Dickinson said. “This was a case of economies of scale. There were enough jobs that we packaged together that it warranted having McGough oversee it.”

Despite the convenient grouping, each individual project had its own budget and own reasons for being done.

The Marvin Plaza project was the result of a planned renovation for the space outside the library, which needed brick repair and a solution to irreplaceable bollard lights that had been smashed. The new design was decided upon in the spring and construction took place over a several week period during the summer. The plaza was named in honor of Margaret Marvin ’39 and was funded largely through a gift to the college by the Marvin family. The cost of the project was approximately $175,000, of which around two thirds was covered by the gift.

There are plans to put up a pergola on the west side of the plaza within the next month to complete the project.

The steps on the Summit Avenue side of Dupre were in desperate need of repair, and rather than replacing them exactly as they were it was decided to spend more to improve the setup. The ramp is the first phase in efforts to make an ADA accessible route from Summit Avenue to Markim Hall, the home of the Institute for Global Citizenship. The project ended up costing approximately $100,000.

The paved path beside the Chapel was aimed to shore up a path that was already in frequent use, as well as to test out a system of permeable paving.

“That was just an acknowledgement of paving a path that’s already there,” Dickinson said. “It needed to be a permanent path.”

The permeable paving system is the same that was used on Marvin Plaza, and falls in line with LEED sustainability criteria by allowing water to filter through the paving and remain on site, decreasing runoff into the storm drain system and the Mississippi River.

The project in Olin Rice was to remodel some space next to the Keck Lab to provide for the specific needs of a new faculty member in the environmental science department. The new faculty member, Louisa Bradtmiller, is a climate scientist and there previously was not a lab suitable for her research. The project cost around $200,000.

Another sight new to some on campus is the return of the swing set, a gift from the class of 1992 that was removed when construction began on the Leonard Center at the end of 2006. The swings returned to a different position on campus, sandwiched between Shaw Field and the Leonard Center rather than the east side of Olin Rice, and are much smaller than the originals, but have made a welcome return nonetheless.

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