The drying out of campus following flooding from broken attic sprinkler system pipes in South Hall and Main Building is running ahead of schedule, said Lynda Sirk, Antioch University Director of Public Relations. “The damage is not as extensive as we believed when [Munters, the company providing mitigation of the water damage] first came on campus. We’ll be able to salvage everything and have Main Building back to its original state except for a few damaged ceiling tiles,” stated Sirk.
Sirk said damage was confined to the central areas of Main Building. “The registrar’s office, AEA and the music department stayed dry” she declared.
South Hall should be done in two to three days, said a Munters worker who wished to remain anonymous. The mitigation of Main Building will take longer, another worker said, because the painted plaster walls need a long time to dry. Wednesday morning the workers said they were waiting for a decision from Tom Faecke, Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer of Antioch University, on whether they could begin removing paint from the plaster walls so that the walls could be dried more efficiently.
“Without proper ventilation and heating, moisture from condensation may damage plaster, cause paint to peel, stain woodwork and warp floors. If such conditions are allowed to continue, structural damage may occur,” according to a 2008 letter to Antioch University from Glen Harper, Manager of Preservation Services for the Ohio Historical Society listed on the Antioch Papers website. Sirk said she was not concerned about moisture from condensation or other sources causing mold or other damage to Main Building in the future; “ It’s so dry, it will take time for moisture to build up again.” She said the University and the Antioch College Continuation Corporation would continue to work with Stanley Consultants on how to maintain campus buildings.
In the meantime, Greene County resident Otha Davenport is planning to present the petition he initiated to the Ohio attorney general in Columbus on Friday morning, February 27th. The petition asks for investigation of what Davenport calls the “missteps” of the Antioch University Board of Trustees in bringing about the closing of the College. According to state law, five or more county residents can call for the investigation of a nonprofit that has failed its duty to serve the public interest. “The University [administrators] seem to think they’re a private company, but they’re a nonprofit. They don’t pay village, Greene County, state or federal taxes,” Davenport said.
By Jeanne Kay
On Friday, February 22nd, Interim President Andrzej Bloch announced to the Antioch Community “the reconfirmation of the decision to suspend operations of the college on June 30th for at least one academic year.” Students, faculty, staff, alumni and Yellow Springs residents gathered, like they had many times since last June, for an emergency community meeting in McGregor 113. The Interim President had just flown back from Los Angeles, where the Board of Trustees (BOT) meeting was still being held, to present the college community with the resolution of the trustees’ discussions concerning the immediate future of Antioch College.
The discussions took place on Thursday the 21st, Bloch specified in a later interview; they started early in the morning and lasted until the mid-afternoon. The negotiating team, composed of Chancellor Toni Murdock, Chair Art Zucker, Chief Financial Officer Tom Faecke, and two attorneys, presented the trustees with a report based on their negotiations with the Antioch College Continuation Corporation (ACCC.) The trustees, Bloch said, “concluded that there weren’t sufficient material, sufficient grounds, to take action.” Therefore he decided, with the approval of the board, to come back to campus to inform the community. Continue reading Community Confused by Announcement
By Jeanne Kay and Kim-Jenna Jurriaans
Prospective transfer students browsing the Antioch College website this weekend in search of the Common Application will be disappointed. As of yesterday, the form has disappeared from the Admissions site, which now only shows a link to the readmission application and financial aid information. The removal of the material was done without consultation of the current Director of Financial Aid and new head of Admissions, Robin Heise, who was presented with a fait accompli when she opened the online admissions section in the early afternoon on Friday.
Heise was on her lunch break when she was called by one of her fellow financial aid officers who informed her that Director of Communications and Public Relations, Lynda Sirk, had just walked into her office and used her computer. When Heise returned to her workplace, the Common Application had disappeared from the college website and alterations to the admissions part of the site had been made under her name.
Suggestions made by Sirk that the move to pull down the Common Ap followed instructions from Art Zucker and Toni Murdoch in consultation with the University lawyers leave open the question why the changes were made from Heise’s computer. Sirk, under her own web account, would have full access to the sections of the site that were modified.
Further investigation into the motives to pull down content off the site amidst current negotiations between Antioch University and major donors to the college, and whether University officials authorized the action, is expected to take place after this weekend
Antioch College, Celebrating 155 Years of Market Tested Toughness
By Billy Joyce
It’s only just begun. Community Meeting was charged with anger and uncertainty this week. With the decision to lift the suspension of operations obliterating the past and only halfway tracing the future, distrust of the university’s minions and its board of trustees runs high.
University Vice Chancellor and Spokesperson Mary Lou LaPierre jockeyed for Community Member of the Week honors this week by putting a heroic spin on this past weekend’s Board of Trustees decision to lift the suspension of operations. Continue reading Dispatches from Community Meeting