In response to his first nine months of extensive visiting with the University of Maine community in campus classrooms, laboratories and legacy buildings, President Paul Ferguson, as part of an initiative referred to as “Paint and Polish 2012,” will allocate approximately $2.5 million to improve the campus infrastructure. This initiative will include more than a dozen campus buildings and academic areas identified as improvement and deferred maintenance priorities by the deans of UMaine’s six colleges, including the Honors College, and staff of Facilities Management.
The $2.5 million comes from a combination of energy savings realized through improved utility and fuel contracts and increased campus-wide efficiencies, as well as overall cost reductions on a one-time basis. More than $1.6 million is earmarked for classroom upgrades and improving accessibility, $895,000 will be directed for painting and minor maintenance to preserve the integrity of campus buildings, including UMaine’s “legacy assets.”
Much of the work will begin this summer and is expected to employ numerous local Maine painting and construction companies, as well as elevator, furniture and equipment suppliers.
Paint and Polish 2012 is a four-pronged approach to infrastructure improvement, focusing on classroom upgrades, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) upgrades, energy-saving initiatives and painting projects. Many are aimed at addressing deferred maintenance that has resulted from decades of budget cuts. All will improve the quality of life for students, faculty, staff and visitors on campus, according to Janet Waldron, UMaine’s Vice President for Administration and Finance.
“How the campus looks really matters,” Waldron says. “We have a beautiful campus with legacy buildings. The benefit of these investments is improved aesthetics, higher quality classrooms, more accessible facilities, and an enhanced impression of campus for visitors and prospective students.
“President Ferguson is mindful of the effect that facilities have on promoting world-class teaching and research, recruitment, retention and general impressions of campus,” she says. “Proper stewardship of our infrastructure is important to him for these reasons, but also because it makes financial sense. Maintenance costs quadruple if not timely executed.”
Facilities Management is pleased to partner with the President Ferguson to care for UMaine’s irreplaceable campus assets, such as Fogler Library, Waldron concluded.
Among the buildings slated for improvements:
• Estabrooke Hall, where the first floor will be renovated for office space for Honors College faculty and the Maine Center for Research in STEM Education (RiSE), as well as an interactive, general-purpose classroom with sophisticated audiovisual equipment.
• Fogler Library, which will receive exterior painting and partial first-floor renovation to create additional collaborative academic space for student study groups.
• Crosby Lab, where an elevator will be installed to provide handicapped access to the second floor, and restrooms will be renovated to meet ADA guidelines.
• Clapp Greenhouse, which will receive some upgrades in the south end teaching area.
• D.P. Corbett, where desks and seating in two first-floor classrooms will be replaced.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207-581-3745