September 18, 2009
Throughout the summer, Rollins completed various construction projects ranging from residence hall upgrades to the complete renovation of the electrical systems in the Annie Russell Theatre.
The most extensive renovations were to Mayflower and Elizabeth halls. A new covered entrance incorporating traditional campus architecture is the focal point of the Elizabeth Hall exterior renovation. Other improvements included all new exterior windows, additional stucco ornamentation, and a repainting of the building exterior.
At Mayflower Hall, improvements included a new air-conditioning system, major electrical upgrades, raised corridor ceilings with new enhanced lighting, drywall and interior painting, new exterior windows, ADA-accessibility to the first floor, high-performance attic insulation, and an exterior repaint.
After 75 years, Annie Russell Theatre was in need of an extensive electrical renovation. The project involved the removal of an antiquated dimming system and the installation of a new digital dimming system to control all theatrical lighting. Lighting positions were reworked and new box booms and motorized lighting trusses were added. In order to support this work, new electrical services for both for theatrical lighting and house loads were installed, along with other required electrical infrastructure upgrades.
“By replacing analog theatrical dimmers with digital dimmers, we’re now where we need to be in terms of teaching students about digital equipment and gear,” said Scott Bitikofer, director of facilities management.
Additionally, many safety concerns needed to be addressed. The old catwalk was removed and replaced with a fixed-lighting position and a mobile work platform.
“The new mobile work platform was designed with the safety and welfare of theater staff and students in mind,” said Bitikofer, noting that the historical project was completed below budget and ahead of schedule.
Major renovations were also completed in the Bush Science Center. Improvements to Bush Auditorium included seating and carpeting replacement, repainting, and new ultra-efficient dimmable LED lights. The original eight public restrooms dating from 1967 were reconstructed with new plumbing and all new finishes, as well as ADA-compliant, high-efficiency lighting control with occupancy sensors and waterless urinals.
Smaller projects that have been completed include renovations to the Cornell Fine Arts Center (CFAC), French Avenue parking area and 170 West Fairbanks. In partnership with the City of Winter Park and its work on French Avenue, Rollins has replaced the gravel edge of road parking with a proper curb and beautiful landscaping at this parking lot serving the west end of campus. At CFAC, the original air-conditioning system dating back to the late ‘70s was replaced in its entirety. The new air-conditioning system is based on chilled water supplied by a campus-wide distribution system and will allow better humidity and ventilation control. In addition, some minor reconfiguration was completed, providing an office suite for faculty that will now be connected to the central corridor of the building without having to go outside. At 170 West Fairbanks, an exit-only redesign provides one-way circulation through the narrow parking lot.
Throughout the projects, the highest level of sustainability was top-of-mind. For example, every showerhead campus-wide was replaced with low-flow heads for water conservation, a change that will pay for itself within six months.
“We look at every opportunity,” said Bitikofer, “to be good stewards of the College’s resources and environmental sustainability.”