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September 25, 2006

Campus Facilities team completes major renovation

By Chris Banks

Facilities staff of the Colleges and University Housing Services (CUHS) had a busy summer working on two renovation projects. The historic Granary building near the campus main entrance received extensive refurbishment inside and out, and 14 buildings at College Eight underwent major maintenance as part of a 10-year cycle for the colleges.

Granary Child Care Center

Renovations to the historic Granary building were made to retain its architectural integrity.
Photo: Chris Banks

The Granary is one of several historic buildings on the campus, which requires that renovation work meet special standards. "As a prominent building in the Cowell Ranch Historic District, roof and window replacement and the installation of fire sprinkler connections required a thorough review by the Environmental Assessment Group. Replacement elements had to closely approximate the original architectural look," said Chris Attias, CUHS facilities assistant director.

The cedar shingle roof is consistent with roofing material of the late 1800s when cedar was chosen for its light weight, strength, and ability to shed water. In addition to historic considerations, safety was an important factor in this renovation since the building is a child development center. “Safety was a prime concern,” said Attias, “Preparation for repainting and the removal and replacement of the windows and doors required careful abatement of old lead paint.” Granary child development programs were temporarily moved to the Children's Center at Family Student Housing while the work was being done.

Meanwhile, up on the hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean, crews were at work on the residence halls and apartments at College Eight. Originally constructed in 1990, the buildings were beginning to show the weathering of time. “The ocean facing sides of a building, as pretty as they can be for living, deteriorate faster due to the sun and moisture exposure,” said Tarun Bhattacharya, CUHS major maintenance coordinator.

The interiors of the buildings were also showing wear. Repair and replacement work provided opportunities to employ environmentally friendly and resource saving elements. Some of these included installation of new energy efficient water heaters, water saving toilets, reupholstering or refinishing of furniture rather than replacement, installation of carpet that contains recycled content and is recyclable, and processing of the old carpet as waste-to-energy to create clean electric power.

Completing both the Granary Child Development Center and the College Eight renovations was a challenge given the short, summer-break construction schedule, but the work was well managed and the facilities were ready for their fall 2006 opening.

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