July 15, 2015
The College will introduce a portable fire pit for use by student groups at four locations on campus in the wake of the removal of four fire pits traditionally used by fraternities in the sloping woods west of College Road.
The old fire pits and a number of temporary wooden structures are being removed because of safety and fire-hazard concerns and after consulting College Township Fire Chief Bill Smith. The old fire pits on College property are not universally accessible and makeshift steps leading to the pits are not considered safe. In addition, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) restrictions on open burning come into play, as the OEPA requires advance notice of ceremonial bonfires inside a village and places limits on the size and duration of the fires.
Director of Campus Safety Robert Hooper said the pits were not used often and that wooden lean-tos and makeshift bars were added and the wood was in some cases rotting. An extension cord for electricity was at least once connected to a fire pit area from Hanna Hall. Hooper recalled a wild fire that sprang from a pit about 12 years ago.
“This was a collaborative decision,” Hooper said. “A lot of reasoning went into this. We live in a different world now. We can’t just say, ‘We’ve always done it this way.’”
Firefighters were concerned about access to the pits in the event of an injury. “Getting people out of there is one of the key things for us,” Smith said. “There’s a lot of danger in getting access to them. And when it’s dry, it’s a fire hazard. Everyone is just trying to do the right thing for safety.”
The Maintenance Division is fabricating a mobile fire pit that will be delivered to one of four designated spots on the north and south sides of the campus. The portable fire pit with a controlled fire “is a really good idea,” Smith said.
The locations for the portable fire pit are east of Hanna Hall and north of Old Kenyon; in an area between Lewis, Gund and Norton halls; and two in the North Campus Apartments neighborhood. The portable fire pit will be reserved through the Student Activities Office.
March 10, 2015
The Office of Public Affairs takes flight to Sparrow House this week.
Sparrow House, 221 N. Acland St., is the former home of the Health and Counseling Center, near the North Campus Apartments. The College, working with Shrock Premier Custom Construction, has renovated the building, and Public Affairs takes up residence there on Friday, March 13, 2015.
The move from the College Relations Center, 101 Chase Ave., is being made to accommodate growth in the College Relations Division. The Office of Alumni and Parent Programs will occupy the space that has been home to Public Affairs, which moved into the building in 1958.
“Public Affairs is the communications crossroads of the College, and all alumni, members of the faculty, staff and students are welcome in our offices,” Director of Public Affairs Mark Ellis said. “The College has done a terrific job on this project, and we appreciate the work of Mark Kohlman and Steve Arnett in making this happen.” Kohlman is the chief business officer and Arnett is director of facilities operations.
Moving with Ellis to Sparrow House are administrative assistant Robin Ball; Director of New Media Patty Burns; Video Producer Chris Davis; writer and editor Robin Davis; Publications Director Adam Gilson; Social Media Producer Mary Keister; Assistant Director of New Media Emily Lindo; Director of Marketing Megan Monaghan; and writer and editor Rose Shilling. Sports Information Director Marty Fuller and Assistant Sports Information Director Clayton Coffman will continue to work in offices at the Kenyon Athletic Center.
The health and counseling staff moved to the new Cox Health and Counseling Center on Scott Lane in the summer.
Sparrow House was built in 1834 for William Sparrow and is the oldest surviving brick building in Gambier, Kenyon historian Tom Stamp ’73 said. Sparrow was the first person hired by Episcopal Bishop Philander Chase to teach at the fledgling College and Bexley Hall Seminary. Over time, a number of seminary deans lived in the house, and it became known as the Deanery. Kenyon moved its health services offices there in 1968.
July 28, 2014
No one is prouder of the new Cox Health and Counseling Center than those who work there. But informal tours by excited visitors have become something of a distraction.
“We’re happy to answer questions and point out the highlights when we’re not busy,” said Kim Cullers, director of health services. “But it’s started to limit what we can get done in a day.”
Cullers said the staff is still putting files away, stocking cupboards and learning to use some of the new equipment. They’re also still seeing student patients during the summer months.
To help the Health Center staff get settled, Cullers asks that faculty, staff and students postpone stopping in for a look at the building until a later date. Formal tours will be given soon after classes start next month and again in October near the Kenyon College Board of Trustees meeting.