If you’ve made your way out to Currier House recently, you might have seen ladders and cables scattered throughout the House. Unfortunately, this construction project does not portend an exciting new treehouse party space for Quadlings. Instead, the hard-hat wearing (and sometimes noisy) workers are installing something a bit more mundane—a fire-fighting sprinkler system.
According to Zak M. Gingo '98, director of facilities management and operations, the University has been working since last year on a two-year infrastructural modification—the installation of the sprinkler system in all the University's residential buildings. Currier is the last undergraduate residential building to have the sprinklers installed, and most of that work will take place this summer.
But during spring break, some of Currier House’s closets—which will eventually be used to run vertical water-carrying pipes—will undergo an asbestos-abatement process first, in order to get rid of the thin fibrous crystals found in the closet floor tiles, that if airborne and inhaled, can cause serious lung cancers.
Gingo, however, said that the asbestos in Currier is not dangerous when it is sitting still in tile. The abatement process is meant to prevent any possible disruption of the tiles that may take place when the pipes are installed and cause the asbestos to become airborne.
This should explain the loud noises coming from the closets, which have been sealed off in order to safely remove the tiles under negative air pressure conditions.
Gingo said that these procedures are commonly used in residential settings.
"I am very confident that the conditions are safe for the workers and the students," Gingo said.
According to Gingo, the asbestos-abatement process should be finished by the end of this week.
Though it may not be a health concern, that's just enough time for students who are spending their spring break in Currier to be driven crazy by all the noise associated with the abatement process.