By Molly Igoe
This summer has been a relatively busy one for Washington College and Chestertown with a new academic building under construction that will replace the old Board of Education building as well as a new dorm building being built on campus.
Director of Physical Plant Reid Raudenbush discussed the various projects taking place on and off campus, starting with the new academic building located on Washington Avenue.
He said, “The Board of Education building was demolished at 215 Washington Ave., and construction is on schedule for our new academic building. Steel is in the air, and we plan to be closed in by Christmas. Work will continue on the interior with the goal to be finished by June 1, 2016.”
Vice President for Finance and Administration Mark Hampton outlined the cost of the new academic building.
He said, “The largest construction cost is the new academic building on the former site of the Kent County Board of Education. That project is in excess of $11 million. We’ve received a grant for $3.6 million from the state of Maryland for this project, and an additional $1 million in private funding from an anonymous donor. We’re continuing to raise funds for this project. In the meantime, we are using debt financing to cover the remaining construction costs.”
Raudenbush provided more details surrounding the construction of the new dorm building between Sassafras and Chester.
“Corsica Hall, our new dorm, is also coming out of the ground, and it is on a similar schedule to the new academic building expected to by completed by July 1, 2016. The building will be the triplet to Chester and Sassafras, although at 112 rooms, it is slightly larger. The exterior will be just like the other two with the lounge in the center facing Kibler Field.”
Concerning the new dorm building’s cost, Hampton said, “The new residence hall is actually the second largest project and comes in at a bit more than $10 million for the total cost of construction, and we’re pretty confident at this point that we’ll stay within that budget. We will be using debt financing for the full cost of construction. By the way, the new residence hall is named after the Corsica River in Queen Anne’s County.”
Many existing academic and residential buildings have undergone minor improvements over the summer to treat conditions like mold and air conditioning.
“We’ve just wrapped up a major HVAC renovation of Harford Hall that will cost about $1.8 million but will address climate-control problems in that building. We also updated the lighting in the building, replaced all of the furniture, and painted, so it will feel a lot like a new building. We’re also updating the HVAC in the Kohl Gallery to make it more suitable for exhibiting fine arts. The price tag for that will be around $300,000. After all of these projects are done, we’ll set our sights on further renovations in our residence halls and in other buildings,” Hampton said.
In light of all these projects, WC looks improved and ready to welcome students back for another year.