The warped walls and un-insulated windows match up with the creaking screen door that sways with the howling winds, with nothing to protect it from the radiant summer sun and the brisk winter breeze.
The Grafton House has served as the Campus Safety headquarters on the Keene State campus for over a decade and now the decision has been made to relocate.
Keddy House, located on Wyman Way, proves to be a much larger facility in which the Campus Safety faculty will have more room to operate.
The bulk of the Keddy renovation is scheduled to be completed by the end of November 2011.
“Based on space planning studies conducted during campus planning processes in 2002 and 2007, we are operating in about 30% of the space we need based on our operation,” Director of Campus Safety, Amanda Warman, said.
Warman expressed that the Grafton House, though it has served as a prominent headquarters, does not meet current standards for energy efficiency as well as other interior and exterior demands.
“Walls and floors are not insulated, windows are warped and drafty, and exterior doors are warped and worn,“ Warman said. “Temperatures fluctuate significantly over the course of a day because of the lack of insulation and the constant opening and closing of doors due to the amount of foot traffic in the building.”
Warman also said the Grafton House no longer portrays the attractiveness that Keene State College is trying to relay to visitors who come to register for parking.
“We’re the first place that people see on campus if they’re coming to visit or register at the visitors’ lot, and it’s just not a very attractive location. The building is very rundown, the walls aren’t insulated, and it’s tremendously cold in the winter and unbearably hot in the summer time,” Warman said.
“Grafton House is often the first stop for campus visitors due to its proximity to both the visitors’ parking area and many of the college’s administrative offices, particularly Admissions,” Warman said. “Neither the exterior of the building nor the interior give visitors a positive first impression of the campus.”
The Keddy House offers an abundance of square feet and is equipped with a lift to the main level that would provide equal access to everyone, whereas the Grafton House is not.
The second phase of the Keddy plan is to build a small street level addition on the west side of the building that would eliminate the need for visitors to use the lift for access to parking and dispatch.
Warman said the cost differential is higher because of the space and the renovations being made to Keddy House, but the price is worth having better work efficiency between co-workers and a larger operational space.
“With the Grafton House we had to share rooms and that really got in the way with our productivity,” Warman said. “Now we can look forward to our own work space and better working conditions, something we didn’t get in the Grafton House.”
According to Warman, the lack of space was interfering with student/faculty communication, especially when meeting privately.
“Dispatch, parking, and the administrative offices are openly accessible to the public and it is not uncommon for irate individuals to confront staff in very close quarters, but our limited space decreases our ability to confer privately with students when needed,” Warman said.
The Keddy House will provide better communication with both the KSC community as well as the overall population of Keene, N.H.
Students who frequently visit the Campus Safety headquarters said it was certainly in need of repairs both on the inside and outside, and portrayed an unsettling feeling once inside.
“You walk up to the house and you almost second guess yourself and see if you’re at the right building,” KSC senior Eric Danner said. “It’s like something out of a horror movie, with the broken screen door, chipped wall paint, and squeaky floors; it’s about time they actually did something about it.”
Warman said the Campus Safety staff has been looking forward to the relocation period for a long time, and now that moving boxes have arrived at the Grafton House it’s become more of a reality.
The Grafton House will most likely be torn down and transformed into more parking for visitors and students on campus, but the decision has yet to be made.
“There’s a lot of equipments and other material down in the basement that needs to be sorted out and repositioned but the idea of creating more parking would best suit the college, especially with the Keddy House right next door,” Warman said.
Another senior at KSC, Colby Hall, said having a better facility will relay more of a message to incoming students that this college is serious about the protection and safety of the college community.
“Having a building like Keddy Hall to represent the Campus Safety here at KSC, I think, will relay a more positive message to incoming freshmen that the college cares about student safety and you can see by looking at the new building,” Hall said.
Warman expressed, that though the renovations are almost complete, there are still technological projects that still need tending to.
“We are working with IT and Physical Plant staff to develop a coordinated move for the critical pieces of our operation such as our radio console, CCTV operations, telephone lines, the 9-1-1 system, the college switchboard, and other technology,” Warman said.
Jon Carey can be contacted firstname.lastname@example.org.