Sunday, November 29, 2020

ACC bathroom renovations

What was once two bathrooms in the Angell College Center has now turned into four bathrooms.

The construction walls near ACC were taken down last week to reveal four upgraded and redesigned bathrooms. Among the four are two new gender-neutral restrooms.

“I definitely think it was a time for a renovation [for the bathrooms],” said Director of the Center for Student Involvement Cori Jackson.

Plattsburgh State Capital Project Manager Rick Larche started the project last semester but did not anticipate the bumps along the way. He said the project was passed onto him after the administration decided it was time for renovations. Larche said how construction projects are usually done by off-campus individuals. This includes suppliers and contractors.

“The bathrooms were at an age where they needed to be renovated,” said Larche.

“They were unsightly, and the ventilation was not up to code. The bathrooms were not as efficient as they should be.”

Larche said the project was not meant to take as long as it did. The initial plans of the project were to replace the urinals and toilets that were outdated. The conditions of the bathrooms became more of a problem as time went on.

“ [The bathrooms] were occupying a large space so there were issues we never anticipated,” Larche said.

Larche said he and the workers found underground conduits near the entrances of the bathroom. These pipes were carrying electrical feeders under the bathrooms. During the construction, workers hit these pipes which caused the overall project to delay further.

“We had to remove some asbestos that was used during the original construction of the bathroom,” Larche said. “Up until 1984, it was common to use asbestos as a pipe insulator. It’s fire resistant but becomes dangerous after it’s airborne.”

Larche said every time he and his workers began to take apart the bathrooms(i.e ceiling and floors) a new problem would arise including material delays. The contractors would order materials that were expected to arrive in four weeks. However, suppliers began to drag their feet and deliver materials six weeks later.

“It’s not necessarily the contractor’s fault,” Larche said. “When a project is first starting, it takes them a while to get up to speed.”

PSUC students are glad to see ACC adding two new gender-inclusive bathrooms to campus.

“They are obviously trying to make the campus more inclusive regardless of their gender identity,” PSUC sophomore Patricia Davenport said.

The same renovations are being applied to all the bathrooms in ACC however, there is not enough space to include more gender-neutral bathrooms. 

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