Faculty Say Repairs Needed in Grupp Hall


Sarah Siock

Photo Courtesy of Brendon Lauff

Brendon Lauff

Grupp Hall has seen better days, and while many repairs have been done, more may be needed.
The building, located toward the back of the campus, holds rooms for Business Studies, Communications, Language & Literature, Social Science, classrooms and faculty offices.
The four-story brick building, apparently built in the late 1960s or early 1970s, has seen its share of problems.
The main issues are within the basement of the building. This is the location of the faculty offices.
The building has had a history of leaking pipes or other water issues. Six years ago a small flood of water formed due to leakage within the basement.
The college responded swiftly to the leak, doing a full clean out of the basement and the offices.
After properly sanitizing and cleaning out the area, they spent the summer taking measures to avoid having this problem again.
All along the back of Grupp Hall, professors watched crews dig out the soil just past the office windows slightly above the ground.
They installed stone and what appears to be a PVC drainage system.
These changes were made to both back exterior walls on either side. They are also viewable from the middle basement stairwell.
There is also a sump pump in the basement to prevent another flood and pump out any water. Carpet was ripped out in the offices to prevent mold.
However, the faculty still had concerns about the possibility of mold and the general air quality in the basement.
Provost Lisa G. Angelo said, “Grupp Hall is an old building and it seems there is an endless list of ongoing problems. I know our physical plant workers and managers are aware of the issues and have been addressing them.”
A company came in to analyze the air quality. The results came back as clear. The report stated there were no harmful contaminants found.
Fast forward to today and the faculty are once again raising issues about Grupp Hall. Most recently was this past winter; when some of the heaters within the offices weren’t properly working.
This made some classrooms too cold and improperly circulated. After the faculty went through the proper channels, these issues were resolved within a day or two.
However, it’s unclear whether or not all rooms are functioning properly to circulate the heat.
Some faculty continue to have concerns over the air quality.
Faculty Union-President Professor John Strauss stated, “I was made aware of air concerns and we are currently looking into having a different company brought in on behalf of the faculty to complete another check.”
While Grupp does need some fixes, there have not been any reported safety concerns.
Speaking off the record, several faculty members described the basement as “a sick-building, filled with rattling rafters, a few dead bugs, cold and drafty, a few problems before.”
English Professor Dr. Ellen Pratofiorito stated that, “I have reported the problems before and was informed that they were being handled or have been resolved, about a month ago.”
All other concerns made by faculty were brought to the attention of either the provost, dean, or discussed in faculty meetings.
Grupp Hall has seen its share of problems. However, it has been in the best interest for the faculty and students to use the building that serves the needs of the students and stands tall as the inspiring educational institute it was built to be.