ΔΣΦ, ΓΔ Chapter, Work Weekend Summary – July 15-17, 2011
A successful alumni-student work weekends was recently completed at the chapter house in Pullman. The next alumni work weekend is mid-August, with students arriving early the following week, to prepare for the start of fall classes on August 22nd. There has also been numerous other upgrades to the Chapter house over the summer, all scheduled to be complete prior to the start of classes.
The Chapter currently has 36 men who are scheduled to live in the house this fall, as of July, with 11 men who opted to live off-campus. The 36 include 7 who are moving into the house from dorms and 7 who have been pledged, or are in the process of pledging over the summer.
All house members and officers have been busy all summer with rush related events, It is expected the number of summer signees will increase, as the date to sign up, so freshmen do not have to live in a dorm the first semester, is early August. Remember, there is no formal mens rush on campus.
Please join us at the next work weekend, Saturday and Sunday, Aug 13-14 & Aug 15-16. We're seeking alumni help on Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 15-16, as we provide additional leadership training for the chapter officers and members. This will likely also include demonstrations of dining ettiquette and family style meals. Contact Jim Wilson or myself if you are able to help or attend either or both of these dates.
Future ACB plans include the Homecoming weekend ACB meeting, held prior to the football game (Stanfor) at the Chapter house Oct. 15th; I'm hopefull there will be plans coming soon for a Delta Sig alumni event in Seattle at the Oct 22 football game (Oregon State). Get your tickets early for the Seattle game.
There is RV parking available in the WSU lot below the Chapter House. The cost is $40 for the weekend. There is also a shuttle from the lot to the stadium, plus chapter members may also provide rides to stadium. This is in addition to other RV parking for football weekends.
Four Alumni and eight students participated in the July work weekend. The main accomplishment was cleaning, priming and painting the basement, where four student rooms are being renovated for fall occupancy. In addition, hallway painting is continuing on the third and fourth floors. Other tasks were landscape planting and tree removal.
Alumni present included Ken Ahlstrom, Lynnwood; Robert Fischbach, Spokane; Jim Wilson, Spokane; and Thomas James, Beaverton, Oregon. Students participating included Cole Lonborg, Damon Chiu, Kyle Mumma, Jack Wilson, Tim O'Hallaren, Jimmy Wilson, Ryan Coumont and Kevin McCrea. Also joining us for part of the work party on Saturday was former student Eric Blackburn.
TJ tried to replace the hand rails from the foyer to the basement but was stymied due to different style of hanger bolt. He will regroup and try again in August. He'll bring the new hand rails and the correct bolts in August.
Four student rooms in the basement are undergoing an almost total renovation, including walls, floor, doors, fixtures, electricity and furnishings. This was originally intended for the third floor, but budget and contractor contraints, along with the need for additional drywall repair in the basement led us to concentrate on these four rooms, with an eye toward the other floors in future years. This will also complement the recent renovation of the basement bathroom, which was completed in January 2011. The fifth student room in the basement is currently being used for storage at this time.
The four basement rooms all recieved drywall repairs, with one of the rooms getting all new drywall. Each room, after painting, will get new, color coordinated carpet tiles, along with new closets, desks and dressers. Each room will also make use of wooden bunk beds and recently purchased mattresses. The bunk beds were constructed both last summer and last January. There will be different furnishings used as we take a look at different closet and dresser confirgurations, which will slso provide us with feedback when we plan work for the third and fourth floors. Prior to painting, each room also received new floor underlayment.
Each of the four rooms also got an electrical upgrade, with additional duplex outlets added below each desk area and each room given it's own electrical circuit, rather than two rooms sharing a circuit. New overhead light fixtures are also being installed in each room. Each room is also being outfitted with a new door, door jamb and dead-bolt lock.
The basement hallway also received drywall repairs prior to being painted. The painting includes the sprinkler pipes and the ceiling, so the sprinkler pipes will be the same color as the walls. Paint schemes for the rooms (paint colors and carpet tile colors) and for the hallways (paint colors) were provided by an interior designer. The upper floor hallways were also patched, cleaned and primed prior to being painted. Plans are to complete the painting of the third and fourth floor hallways prior to the august work weekend.
In addition to the painting work, alum Robert Fischbach constucted a raised platform on which the repaired ice machine will sit, complete with plumbed drain. This occupies the former basement phone booth, which received new drywall and a light fixture. The door to this small room was also removed. When the repaired ice machine is returned from the shop, it will sit just inside the former phone booth and be accessible from the outside. The repair shop will also plumb a fresh water supply for the ice machine, also originating in the mechanical room. When you visit the house, check out Robert's work, which is greatly appreciated.
This ice machine was removed from service last summer after a leak was discovered. The machine had been located in the dining room, near the door to the kitchen; The leak caused mold problems in multiple rooms in the basement, which were repaired and treated later last summer, but the student rooms were uninhabitable until the basement bathroom was repaired, which was opened for business in January 2011, just one day before the start of classes after the Christmas break. The former phone booth got new drywall and electrical improvements prior to the ice machine platform work.
A sprinkler system was installed this summer, including drip lines for shrubs and ground cover along the front of the house and the wooded area along the north walkway. The sprinkler system covers the front yard, back yard, with additional areas that could be included in the future. The contractor discovered remnants of old sprinkler pipes, some of which were used to snake new lines around tree roots above the parking lot.
We also contracted with a local high-school student to keep the front and back lawns mown all summer.
In July dark green replacement shutters were installed around all the windows on the front of the Chapter house. The former white shutters were removed. This improved the look of the house from the street.
We also contracted with a local mason to repair the brick monuments along the front sidewalk, as many had been moved or partially destroyed by vehicle accidents during the past winter. A new chain was installed between new monuments during the July work weekend. Plans are being formulated for a new house sign, which was also destroyed by one of the winter accidents. Jim Wilson was involved in the follow-up of these accidents, pursueing compensation for damages from each vehicle's owner and insurance provider. The planning for a replacement fraternity sign will include structural strength to hopefully withstand future winter vehicular assaults (think about how governments avoid terrorist car attacks). Hopefully we can pull this off.
We planted shrubs and ground cover plants during the July work weekend, plus we removed the birch tree from the north corner of the house. Thanks to Kevin McCrea for going up on the roof and making good use of a chain saw and pole pruner to remove much of the top of the tree, so we could fall it without hitting the power lines coming across the front yard to the house. Kevin also trimmed all the branches that extended over the roof above the front door, which should help keep the gutters clear of leaves. The resulting tree refuse was ground into mulch for the north beds, while larger chunks were stacked by the backyard fire pit for later use. Thanks to Ken Ahlstrom for renting the chipper-shredder which helped turn the branches and leaves to mulch.
Additional tree pruning is planned for the summer by the electrical utility and the city of Pullman, to clear the two large trees from the wires and also maintain clearance over sidewalks, which is a city requirement.
Prior to the July work weekend, a contractor built a retaining wall near the back door area, plus the fence by the back door of the house was removed. The area adjacent to the back steps (down to the basement level) which was a small gully, was filled and a storage shed is planned for this area, to provide space for yard tools and related machines.
Earlier this summer the lip of the parking lot driveway was trimmed, to reduce hitting the bottom of vehicles entering or leaving the parking lot, which was a priority request of the students at the April ACB meeting. This was done by a contractor, coordinated by Jim Wilson, to meet all required city regulations.
An additional problem we identified last year was the water from the downspout near the front door, actually on the front porch pole, which was freezing as it crossed over the front walk, creating an ice hazard. After looking at many drainage options for the front steps and the downspout, we moved the downspout to the other end of the gutter, so the water down drains onto the front lawn. We also replaced the small section of gutter involved along the front of the porch roof during this change.
One problem area after the end of classes in May was the ACB had to hire cleaning crews to clean the kitchen, clean all the bathrooms and clean the dining room floor. This will need to be worked on and better coordinated by house officers and students to avoid such expense in the future.
During the summer additional R19 attic insulation was installed. This was planned during the year and completed before the July work weekend.
Also, just completed this past week was the installation of a new hot water heater for the house, as one of the two old water heaters stopped working last spring, which meant that in some high-use situations, there was insufficient hot water for all who were using the showers. This new water heater is designed to provide more than enough hot water in the future. (this is a separate hot water supply and is not the same hot water that is used to provide heat for the house).
A new internet access system is also being installed in the Chapter house this summer, along with additional wi-fi capacity. This is a major re-fit for the house and should provide many years of trouble free access for students. This upgrade will provide each student with internet access in each room, both wireless and hardwire connections, including TV, gameing and also provide presentation capability for groups in living and dining rooms. We're also hoping to have guest access features available with this upgrade, so alumni who visit the house can use the wi-fi features during their visits. Our long term strategy is to keep our focus on achieving 100% wire-less capability.
A new on-line financial system is being rolled-out this Fall for student housebills, which will provide each student and their parents an on-line account for their use. This will also give them up to date on their account status and provide reminders of due dates, calendars and related housebill information. This also relieves the house treasurer of many routine tasks, such as making deposits and trips the bank. We are using Omega Financial, known as OmegaFi. The Chapter Advisor is the point of contact for the ACB. This change will also make IRS reporting easier for both the chapter and the ACB. Each student will still be asked to sign a housing contract and maintain a damage deposit. More info will be coming as we get more involved with this change.
We purchased 50 new dining room chairs this summer and they were delivered to the house in early July. These are similar in design to the 42 used chairs donated to the house in 2009 and these new chairs complement the donated (also in 2009) round dining room tables.
The July alumni-student work weekend was a success. We had fun and we got a lot done. We hope for more alumni to be there in August. We also are in need of one or two alums to join the ACB, hopefully from the east side of the state. Contact myself of Jim Wilson if you can join us in August or if you can help by joining us as part of the Alumni Corporation Board.
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