By Alexandra White – 1851 Contributor
Getting students back to campus this fall took many hours of preparation from the Facilities and Sustainability Management (FSM) team. FSM worked through the summer to make sure Lasell’s campus would keep students safe from COVID-19, while also bringing campus back to its pre-COVID state.
According to Associate Vice President of Administration and Operations Diane Parker, during the beginning of the Fall 2020 semester all of the furniture in the Winslow Academic Center was put into storage to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Now that more students were coming back to campus, all of the furniture needed to be moved out of storage. Parkers says, “We had movers on campus for four days or five days this summer just shifting stuff around and rearranging the furniture.”
At the end of last semester, Parkers says that professors told her they enjoyed having the desks from the STC in Winslow during the pandemic,though they wished that they could get bigger desks. Parker was able to find desks to put in Winslow that are similar to the ones in the STC, but slightly bigger and more sturdy.
Along with redoing the gym floor, and the installation of stadium lights at Grellier Field, the athletic department got a new heating and fire alarm system for the Athletic Center.
According to Parker, the tiles on the Donahue steps “break very easily” and were replaced with new tile.
Over the summer, FSM worked on preparing the residence halls for the large number of students returning to campus. Parker says while the changes aren’t flashy, they were necessary to have students come back to a safe campus environment. “The team spends a lot of time going through the dorms, to take care of dorm damage [and] to take care of some of the wear and tear in the dorms as much as possible.”
According to Parker, Lasell has big plans for the future, including upgrading the second floor of the Arnow campus center to create a comfortable space for students. “The idea is to really make that a true campus center,” said Parker.
Another upgrade in progress involves the 1851 Market. Due to ongoing theft from the market, the facilities team is looking into the idea of high-tech retail cabinets. Students would enter the market and scan their student ID into a cabinet. The cabinet would be able to detect what the student chose and bill them, making the chances of theft minimal.
While some of these changes may seem small, they are necessary for campus to run smoothly. Diane Parker says that most of these upgrades are things that can only be done in the summer. “During the summer we try to do this type of work when it is in a non-emergency state, and when it doesn negatively impact students ability to live in comfort.”