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Raise the Roof!

By Tyler Jackson
On November 3, 2015

As fall rolls around, so does rain, and leaks are sure to become a problem. Recently, students have complained about leaks around campus, namely in the Carter Center, Fine Arts building, and most recently the science building. 

Rick Dillon, the Vice President for Administration addressed some of the leaks, starting with the Carter Center, saying, “We have two or three there and we had a roof guy here for them [Thursday], but when you have a campus this size you’re bound to have leaks.” 

When asked about the leak in the Science building, Dillon said he was unaware of the leak, but multiple sources, most of them through the anonymous social media hub Yik Yak, have told the Concordian that somebody left a sink on on the fourth floor and it overflowed, resulting in a leak into a classroom on the third floor. Dillon said that typically when issues like that that can be resolved by the plumbers that Concord employs, he typically doesn’t hear about it. 

Back to the roofs, Dillon says that Concord receives a budget each year to fix issues that may arise, stating that it is down four percent to $400,000. “We receive a capitol budget each year and we only plan to spend half of that knowing that on a campus this size all kinds of things come up,” Dillon said. “We budget about half of our budget from projects with our goal being to do those projects, the other half we save because we know stuff is going to come up, we’ll have leaky roofs.” 

Dillon’s efforts to improve the roofs have been noticed. In a week where it rained continually for several days, the roof at the entrance of North Tower, which is notorious for leaking when the slightest bit of heavy rain appears, did not leak once. Dillon stated that he has known of the theatre leaking before, but with the roofs being so big, finding the leaks also becomes and issue and challenge when fixing them. 

Dillon also discussed the budgets and some of the things that happen with the money and requests they send into the state and some projects have to be put on the back burner for later years. Some of those projects have included the stairs outside of the Fine Arts building and the restructuring of the sidewalks last year. Dillon explained that somebody who held his position before him put in a request to have the state finance half of the project to make the Campus Beautiful more handicap accessible and that plea wasn’t heard until last year when the state agreed to help. The stairs outside the Fine Art building were another project Dillon had to wait to do. 

“I have had freshman who come in and ask why I’ve done certain projects, and its hard for me to tell them this, but when they were seniors and juniors in high school or sophomores that was put in the list to do and worked its way up to now," said Dillon. Although Dillon tries to ration money for projects he acknowledged that instances often pop up and that’s where he tries to save half of the budget. As an example, he stated that to replace a whole roof it would cost at least $700,000, more than the state affords the University. Despite Dillon’s efforts to improve the university it brings to question what happens when the university can’t foot the bill when a roof leak turns into a roof collapse, especially if the leaks continue to occur in the same spots year after year.

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