By ROD ROWE
THE GOSHEN NEWS
About eight projects are under way at the campus of Goshen College that will result in renovations to several buildings and systems, and the installation of a pedestrian underpass at the railroad tracks that run through the campus.
Glenn Gilbert, GC utilities manager, led a group of more than 25 alumni, local residents and college staff on a walking tour Friday of several buildings and explained the updating work that is under way.
At the railroad project, the utilities have been moved and Northern Indiana Construction, Mishawaka, has begun installing the sheet piling to support the ground when the underpass tube is installed July 4.
Trains will be stopped for 24 hours, it was explained, allowing the “tunnel” to be installed under the rails. Work will continue into the fall, with more bike paths and concrete work and landscaping. Gilbert said the underpass project is slated for completion by October.
He explained that the funding is a federal grant received by Goshen city officials with transportation funds administered by Michiana Area Council of Governments. The plan was for funding to be 80 percent federal and 20 percent college funds, but now is being paid entirely by the $1.8 million federal grant, as it is part of the Goshen bicycle path system.
“It is a city project that we have partnered with and our students will certainly benefit,” Gilbert said. He said there was some added cost borne locally for the planning. Goshen’s engineering department will oversee the work.
He added that a webcam system will soon be installed to allow the community to watch the progress of the pedestrian tunnel.
Union building update
The college received a Lilly grant to renovate the Union building, which will soon house the Center for Intercultural and International Teaching and Learning, Gilbert explained. The various arms of those services are in different buildings, but will be moved into new offices and quarters in the Union. There are now 41 doors in the building, but they will be greatly reduced. Energy-saving windows will also be installed. This work will be completed by mid-August before classes resume.
Phase 2 of the Union project will include building space for all GC communications departments, including the radio station, The Record newspaper and TV studio. That project will continue when funding is available.
The college’s largest heating boiler, which was installed in 1967, is being dismantled and will be replaced by a Goshen-made geothermal heating/cooling system. The system is made by Chillit Chillers, of Goshen, Gilbert said, which usually sells its products world-wide. This will be the first Goshen installation, he said.
The geothermal system will replace the steam system at the library and Umble Center as well as most of the Union building. Two 135-foot water wells are in place to supply up to 300 gallons of water per minute for the system. The waste will be piped to a water feature at the south edge of the campus, he explained.
Gilbert listed other projects under way that include replacing the insulation and roof at the recreation center. That work is being done by NuWay Construction of Goshen. The track will also be replaced at the 18-year-old facility.
Yoder Hall, east of the railroad, will receive all new windows and carpet. Zehr Construction of Goshen has that project. The science building is being cleaned and tuckpointed, he explained.