Roberts undergoes repairs

Zachary Bergman

The exterior of Roberts is currently undergoing renovations

There are currently two visible construction projects underway on the exterior of Roberts Halls, one on the main entrance and another on the lawn of Frat Row. The work on the entrance was started over winter break, and the doors have been closed for several weeks. Students have had to use the side doors to access the building.

“I personally think that at the moment it hasn’t really caused me any inconvenience, but if it stays that way for another month or two it could start to get annoying. It also is unpleasant to the eye,” Ryan Bedell ’21 said.

“There were leaks around the edges of the entrance, so when we went in to check why it was leaking we found out that the waterproofing membranes are at the end of their life,” Assistant Vice President for Facilities and Campus Planning Minakshi Amundsen said. The College had the option to either “do it wicked cheap and make a band-aid fix” or do a more expensive but more complete repair, according to Amundsen. If they had opted for the quick and cheap repair, the issue would have likely resurfaced, causing water to leak into the Bob’s offices. To make the repair, the concrete slabs on the outside of the building are being cut away and completely replaced, with any cracked edges sealed up. At some point in the future, the patio area will need to be refurbished as well. The construction on the entrance was started over winter break so that the noisiest phase of the project took place while students were off campus, and is expected to be finished before the summer, while the patio will likely be redone within the next two years.

The work being done on the lawn of Frat Row has also caused confusion for some Colby students. “When I saw them unloading hay bales and placing them in front of Bob’s, I was extraordinarily confused,” Matt Jones ’20 said. “For the past several months my friends and I have made numerous predictions to what they could be doing.” Jones has speculated that the hay could be being used to hide illicit drugs or for square dancing, but in reality they are covering up a temporary hose that is being used for the time being in place of a damaged condensate line. “That’s part of the heating system and just sprung a couple of leaks,” Amundsen said. “Again we could’ve just patched up the leaks, but we’re replacing the entire line.” The hay has been put in place as a safety measure, to ensure that students do not injure themselves or damage the hose.

The project is expected to be completed before students return this fall. Amundsen said that several components of the College’s infrastructure may be due for renewal in the near future, and that we may see more small construction projects in the future.