SEA Currents: News
March 25, 2019
THE VIEW FROM ALOFT: Spring Improvements to Woods Hole Campus
As I write this, spring is just around the corner. You would think that the cold, winter months are the not-so-busy-time for SEA's shore facilities coordinator. On the contrary! I may not be out and about as much, but my days are filled with planning and coordinating our much-needed springtime maintenance activities. I'm fortunate this year to have a six-week window of opportunity to get some larger improvement projects done that would otherwise interrupt student life here on campus.
A little history: our five-acre campus was part of a large late 1800's estate. Because of this history, we are fortunate to have many mature trees. Unfortunately, time has caught up with many of them. What was once majestic, now poses a risk. In light of risk management, the questionable trees have been inspected by certified arborists and are recommended for removal. This will greatly improve student safety as well as mitigate the risk to surrounding buildings. We also will benefit from a more open, sunlit campus for all to enjoy.
Concurrently, we are making efforts to update how the students go to and from their classes in the Madden Center. Student safety is the number one priority, so we're seeking to improve the campus footpath. This will include providing a better walking surface, improved drainage system, and more efficient lighting upgrades. This 600-foot path accommodates more than 300 students a year!
As with the trees and footpath, our buildings need attention too. The most unique and oldest building on campus is the Stone Cottage, home to our Head Resident. The Stone Cottage is overdue for exterior improvements, so this spring we plan to replace the roof and repair the trim. This is an opportunity to update the look of the Stone Cottage to match the Madden Center. The goal is to ensure the longevity of this building and maintain a cohesive look for the campus.
Finally, this spring we'll be making cosmetic improvements to the facades of the student cottages. In 2017 we replaced front doors and added new signs to all five student cottages. But that wasn't quite enough: the harsh New England weather has not been a friend to the front of these buildings. We will therefore paint the exterior shingle siding, and in keeping with the cohesive look of the campus, give the front doors of the cottages a fresh coat of paint.
Our Woods Hole campus is the heartbeat of SEA. With ongoing maintenance and improvements, it will allow us to continue our mission of creating ocean scholars, stewards and leaders.