Facilities issues arise during expansion

November 4, 2015 Local, News

Over the past few years, Rollins has been undergoing gradual structural changes to help accommodate our growing student body and improve the college’s natural beauty. Earlier this month, an email sent out by Dean of Hamilton Holt School David C. S. Richard highlighted some of the new additions to the Holt Evening School.

Among them was the Holt Evening Program office location change; the office is moving next to Keke’s on Fairbanks. Making the move to the Pioneer building, however, was fraught with trouble. Bats were found in the attic and mold was detected beneath the carpet on the first floor. Since this discovery, the occupants of the building have been relocated until a solution can be found. Details of these improvements are still in early planning stages, and future use of the Pioneer building is currently undetermined.

There are currently 28 projects underway at Rollins, most notably the new Child Development Center (CDC) and Dave’s Boathouse in the Campus Center. The CDC has been in building negotiations for the last three years. As of October 7, the Planning and Zoning Commission of the City of Winter Park approved the rezoning of this land. This center will be a new 5,000 square foot facility to help provide evening care at affordable rates for Holt students’ children.

The Rollins Facilities Team is constantly striving toward improving our campus. The team is also dedicated to using sustainable practices—about 100 waterless urinals exist campus-wide; dorms use low-flow showerheads and high-efficiency lighting; recycling efforts are campus-wide; and groundskeepers use environmentally friendly chemicals for daily operations.

This fall, rainwater has presented the most challenges to the status quo. The level of flooding is the most seen in recent decades. For unknown reasons, the groundwater level in the soil around the Bush Science Center has risen above the basement floor level. This water has damaged much of the building already, and Facilities has relocated the occupants of this level to a safer environment to continue their research and study.

Scott Bitikofer, Facilities Management Team Director, expressed the various challenges Rollins has to manage when working on a new project, saying budgetary issues may come into consideration; however, every challenge is unique both in their circumstances and logistics.

“This is the principal difference between manufacturing and construction: In manufacturing, one is able to control the principal variables and use a tried-and-true formulation to produce the same outcome time after time. By contrast, construction projects are always one-of-a-kind with unique circumstances that require flexible responses based on opportunities and objectives.”

Dr. Paul D. Reich, Associate Professor of English and Director of the American Studies Program, views Orlando Hall as a physical representation of the spirit of Rollins and calls for a modernization of the campus under the new administration, saying, “The classrooms represent the teaching style that makes Rollins so distinct. The long oak tables—where everyone faces each other—provide opportunities for every person seated around it to dialogue with each other; however, air conditioning problems and facility-related issues such as overflowing toilets and dead animals can impact the work we do in the classroom.”

Overall, Rollins works diligently to make our campus one in which students can feel at home, constantly moving toward new improvements while keeping safety a number one priority.

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