Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Good News About Hampshire College: We're neither filthy nor suicidal

Liveblogging from the consultants' presentation on our facilities situation and needs:

Given all the bad press the College has been getting lately, it's nice to hear some (fairly) good news.

The problem of deferred maintenance is of course the greatest challenge. Almost all of the campus was built at one time--25-50 years ago--which also happened to be the period of "the worst buildings in modern American history" (in the sense of shoddiest construction; as we also know from debates over historic preservation). That said, we are doing better than many institutions in apportioning our resources to address the range of needs, and we are hitting our target zone and maintaining equilibrium. The problem is that, although we are not slipping backward, we are not substantially reducing the backlog, either.

The most interesting news:

According to the standards of the Association of Physical Plant Administrators(APPA), our campus is not beautiful and spotless, like that of wealthier neighbors, such as Amherst, and yet it is not dirty and dilapidated, either. Rather, in the professional parlance, the condition of our facilities is characterized by:
"moderate dinginess."
(2) Summary of our situation, with high demands and limited capital:
"You all haven't lost hope. Oh, that didn't come out quite right."

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