FEB. 9, 2018 3 min read

The architectural landscape of Reed College shifted over break as cranes tore down the remnants of the old pool building. Meanwhile, on the opposite side of campus, a large pile of concrete rubble was dumped between the Grove and SE Steele Street. Construction on these two major projects will continue to progress throughout the semester.

The pool, closed since August 2017 due to structural failure in two trusses, has fresh (well, chlorinated) water in sight. Steve Yeadon, assistant director of Facilities Services, announced a completion target of March 18. Completion has already been delayed due to weather and other setbacks, and further complications cannot be ruled out. According to Yeadon, building onto an existing structure can cause complications that would not arise in a building built from scratch. Nonetheless, eager swimmers can expect to have their pool back and in improved condition sometime this spring. Over winter break, the construction crew finished tearing down the old structure and installed new support beams and trusses, and roofing is underway this week. In addition to fixing structural problems, other minor changes will be made in the new structure. The old single-pane windows will be replaced with more efficient double-pane glass, and the pool itself will be re-lined and painted.

As construction on the pool nears an end, construction on an even bigger project will commence: a new dorm will be built near the Grove at the current site of the tennis courts. Construction is scheduled to begin March 1, and the dorm will be ready for habitation in the fall of 2019. With a bed capacity of 180, it will be the largest dorm building on campus yet (for comparison, all four Grove buildings hold 120 beds total). With this new accomodation, according to the Grail article “No More Red Bricks,” Reed will be able to house about 80% of its students on campus, putting a significant dent in the stress on students to find housing in the pricey Portland housing market at its current 68% housing capacity. The dorm will be arranged as three separate wings in a pinwheel shape, and will also feature a mini amphitheater.

So what’s up with the big pile of concrete near North Parking? According to a Reed Magazine article by Juan Flores ‘13, the mountain of concrete debris, weighing approximately “5,000 tons,” was shipped in over 200 truck loads from sites all over Portland over winter break. The concrete consists of waste from various demolition projects. The construction crew for the new dorm building will grind it into gravel and repurpose it for roads and a staging pad at the start of the building process, reducing the environmental impact of construction. According to Yeagon, this is one of a number of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) strategies that will be implemented in the building. Reed Facilities is also applying for a grant to power the new building with solar panels.