By Letter to the Editor

I would like to respond to the article written about the Wold Center in last week’s Concordy. The most important point to make is that the Wold Center is still in what is called the ‘punch list’ phase of construction.

This means that it is essentially complete and can be occupied, but that the architects, members of Facilities and the occupants have made a list of items that still need to be dealt with.

This is a normal part of the construction of a new building. Contractors can still be seen working on various issues that normally arise when a new building is first occupied.

This phase will continue for several more weeks. Many of the issues involve multiple contractors who are also working on other jobs and cannot be handled immediately. Certainly minor issues such as a few cracks in the surface of the building (that are on the punch list) do not suggest poor construction and should not be a cause for concern.

Having worked with the construction management team and the members of the Facilities Department on this project for three years, I can assure you that they want the Wold Center to be the best it can be.

Including information that is poorly researched (see below) in an article that attempts to smear the Wold Center is disrespectful of the time and energy many people have put into (and are still putting into) the construction process.

As to particular issues:

1. The water issue in the computer lab was noted when I was giving a tour to a Concordy writer and photographer. The person who told us about it was a contractor in charge of installing the monitors in the computer lab (not anyone involved with the building itself and clearly not an authority).

Further discussions I had with Facilities personnel indicated that this was something that had nothing to do with the building, rather it was a matter of someone who had dumped a large bucket of water in the wrong place. It is not a building flaw.

A simple call to Facilities by the author of the article would have cleared this up. The other issues involving water in the article are also rumors, are not based on facts, and turn out not to be true.

2. The cluster computer was not part of the original design of the building. The building was designed to incorporate advanced computing resources which might include a computing center, but the magnitude of the particular cluster that is being donated was not known at the time the building was designed.

So, the building was not poorly designed and no computing resources are being downgraded. Rather, they are being upgraded! This is a large cluster and currently a group of knowledgeable people is working to find the best place to house it on campus.

Campus rumors have their place, but that place certainly is not in the pages of the Concordy. I would expect that Union students would be more aware of the need to carefully research and then reference sources when writing something that will be published.

Kristin M. Fox, Director of Undergraduate Research, Director of Biochemistry, Associate Professor of Chemistry


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