Renovations on Buckeye, an apartment building located in the College Park Apartments, began on Tuesday, and $1.72 million has been set aside for the job. This project is being paid for through the College’s reserves funds and the money will be used to demolish and rebuild the interior of Buckeye after the discovery of asbestos.
“Asbestos was used extensively in building materials until the late 1970s,” Stephen Hudik, the assistant vice president of communications and public relations, stated in an email. “The material is contained in flooring and joint compound in the ceiling and walls. The material is considered safe if left undisturbed. Residents are urged to avoid scraping or damaging ceilings, floors and walls and to contact the Office of Residence Life if there are issues … The College Park Apartments were constructed in two phases in early to mid 1970s. The College is in the process of developing a plan and schedule to address these buildings.”
Rob Shalikar lived in the Buckeye apartment “H” last year, located on the second floor of the complex. At the end of the spring semester in 2014, Shalikar experienced rashes and blotches on his skin, which are some of the early symptoms related to the overexposure of asbestos.
“They haven’t necessarily gone away yet either,” Shalikar said. “My skin was itchy, and caused extreme discomfort, to the point where I could not sleep. Due to the lack of air conditioning in the room, the problem was exacerbated.”
Since Shalikar’s stay in Buckeye, the apartment complex has been closed off.
According to an email sent out to CPA residents from Sarah Dwyer, the area director for the CPAs, the case for CPA renovations began to be put together in December of 2013. In February of 2014 these renovations were proposed to the Board of Trustees, who approved the plan.
The email went on to promise that the construction would not be a disruption to CPA residents, as only the interior of Buckeye will be renovated. Dumpsters have been placed near Holly and Redwood, and about 10 parking spots have been blocked off for outside contractors working on Buckeye. Work by the contractors will begin at 7 a.m. and end around 3:30 p.m.
“The well-being of our students, faculty and staff is a key concern with all renovation and construction projects,” Hudik assured.