Students to see changes around campus in Fall

April 30th, 2009

Over the summer, John Carroll University will undergo several renovations to the campus, according to Associate Vice President of Facilities Carol Dietz.

Dietz said one of the major projects on campus will be the renovation of the men and women’s bathrooms near the mailboxes in the Rec Plex. The goal is for the facilities to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The ADA was passed in 1990 and was meant to provide individuals with disabilities greater access to facilities across the United States.

JCU students will also see new changes to some of the dorms on campus.

An architect may be hired to design upgrades for the campus. “We plan to hire an architect to design ADA upgrades to student rooms, restrooms and the hall offices in Hamlin and Campion,” she said.

Dietz said that some changes may include the dimensions of the restrooms.

“As we look at renovating existing dorm rooms and restrooms the following changes may be needed – the width of the door or toilet stall, the type of handle on the door and the height of plumbing fixtures,” she said.

The facility department anticipates completion of the ADA design upgrades by the end of the second semester next year.

Dietz said that when building renovations are made, the facilities department is required to make them ADA compliant.

“Some of the changes required to the residence halls include access to the building and access throughout the building,” she said.

Dietz said prior to this, most buildings on campus were ADA compliant with the exception of some restroom facilities.

In addition to room changes, Dietz said the university is looking to make the kitchen facilities more accessible to students with disabilities.

Junior Meghan Greene welcomes the new changes for the dorms. While she has not experienced any personal difficulties with them, her challenges of wheelchair access tend to be with the academic buildings.

Greene said, “Living in the dorms has been great. The administration has really worked with me to make sure the buildings I live in are accessible.”

However, Greene said that some of the other buildings on campus were not very wheelchair-friendly.

“The [academic] buildings are older and are a bit more tricky, especially since most of my classes are in AD,” she said.

Greene said that there is only one way to get from the quad side of the Administration building to the Dolan side—you have to go around it.

This summer will also see new safety features added, to Murphy Hall, in particular.

Fire standpipes, which allow fire fighters greater access to water piping for extinguishing fires, are to be added this summer.

Murphy and the other freshman residence halls will be introduced to their first automatic hand dryers.

The dryers are more eco-friendly and cut down on paper towel waste.

Dietz said that the freshman dorms would not be the only buildings to see the eco-friendly hand dryers; the devices will be installed in most restrooms in the Rec Plex, administrative and academic buildings.

Hamlin and Dolan halls are scheduled to receive new roofs. However, to anticipate potential problems in the future, the facilities department intends to inspect buildings throughout campus for future planning of roofing and masonry repairs.

Many of the changes expected this summer are aimed at reducing the University’s environmental impact.

Dietz said that one of the facility department’s major long-term goals is to look for ways to reduce energy consumption on campus  and reduce the campus carbon footprint.