By: Dalet Valles and Phoebe Vrable
Published By: The Chimes Newspaper
Small tents instead of lockers, inaccessible Metzger offices and decreased parking availability are all evidence of construction work on Biola during the past two months.
According to Associate Vice President of Facility and Auxiliary Operations Brian Phillips, some of the invasive construction is due to a series of underground leaks caused by long term corrosion of the hot water pipes. This is a result of poor insulation for the pipes, which Phillips’s team is addressing.
Although no predetermined budget for the construction projects exists, Phillips estimated that the repairs alone will cost between $15,000 and $50,000 for each project.
Broken pieces of pavement and dirt are scattered across many areas of Biola’s campus. In Parking Lot B, workers have broken ground to access the underground pipelines. Phillips and his team usually plan for anywhere between one to three leaks per year, although more have been happening recently.
“We have had a series of underground hot water leaks that required excavation and repair,” Phillips said. “The background is that we deliver heating and cooling water to all campus buildings from our Central Plant through underground piping. Over the years, we have experienced corrosion on the hot water piping due to faulty insulation. We’re working to come up with a permanent solution, but in the meantime, we are replacing sections of piping as leaks develop.”
With parking lot B being taken apart for repairs, students now face limited parking spaces in the lots near Sutherland Hall and Bardwell.
“The hole over between Sutherland and Bardwell, I usually just walk around it and don’t pay any attention,” said senior studio arts major Johanna Nelson. “It’s probably been a massive pain since no one can park around there.”
Despite students and faculty facing obstacles with the repairs, Phillips is hopeful that the repairs will solve all future leaks.
Metzger’s entrance is currently fenced as a result of the renovation efforts happening inside of the building.
Construction has been taking place since June 2022 and is now extending into the school year. Both the upper and middle levels of Metzger will receive considerable upgrades in addition to the Human Resources and Presidents wing. During the renovations workers will revamp the conference room and private offices. The Lehman board dining and conference rooms will also be refurbished. There are also plans to implement a new lactation room for nursing mothers and improve the building’s ADA accessibility.
The wave of improvements on campus swept over student athletes as well. Locker rooms in Chase Gymnasium are being updated, but debris from the construction outpouring to the front of Lansing Pool has pushed pool users to find accommodations. With locker rooms being closed off to athletes, they have now been using tents as make-shift changing areas.
STUDENTS AND STAFF
Currently, staff and faculty with offices in affected areas of Metzger have transferred to various places around campus. Human Resources is temporarily located in Rood Hall. Other staff have relocated to library offices, Rose Hall and the East wing of Metzger Hall. These adjustments are expected to remain in place until the construction is complete.