Dial Building re-opened for inspection
The doors of the Dial Humanities Building opened to visitors on March 2 for the first time since October 17, 2003, when the building was closed following tests for airborne mold.
Faculty and staff, who had offices in the Dial Building, toured the partially gutted building and attended one of two meetings with Chancellor Meadors, Provost Brown, representatives from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and environmental and engineering consultants.
Wallpaper, sheetrock and insulation were removed from the inside of exterior walls, and the building has been cleaned, tested and cleared for further renovation, said Neil Hawk, Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs.
“Windows were the problem,” said David Giradot, coordinator of the Dial project. “The building has been declared safe. That’s where we are now.”
Replacing windows and masonry, supporting the windows, will keep water out of the building, said John Arnold, of Trigon Engineering Consultants, who supervised cleanup and testing efforts. Some testing of heat and air conditioning systems remains to be completed, he said.
Arnold said sagging exterior masonry caused water to pool at the bottom of windows and leak into the building. New bricks, flashings and windows are designed to keep water from entering the building.
Construction bids went out in late February, and the building is expected to be ready in time for the start of the Fall Semester in August. The Dial Building houses classrooms and offices for three academic departments: History, Political Science and English, Theatre and Languages.
Faculty and staff had several questions about water inside ductwork and about mold on books. The engineering consultant visited several locations during a building tour that followed the meeting.
The ductwork will be cleaned and inspected before the building is occupied, and Chancellor Meadors promised a plan to deal with books.
“All boxes of books should be opened and inspected,” Chancellor Meadors said. “We will develop a procedure to handle books.”
A consultant from the state Division of Public Health, who specializes in mold problems, said there is no perfect solution.
“Mold-free and sterile is not a reasonable expectation,” said David Lipton, an industrial hygiene consultant with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
Wind damage – A windstorm, packing winds up to 60 miles per hour, caused damage on campus. Several trees, including four of the flowering Okame cherry trees in front of Lumbee Hall, were toppled in the March 7 storm.
UNCP hosts three top leaders of the General Assembly
The University played host to the three key leaders of the North Carolina General Assembly during recent months.
With the help of Sen. David Weinstein and Rep. Ronnie Sutton, the Office of University and Community Relations has orchestrated visits from House Co-speakers Richard Morgan of Southern Pines (date), James Black of Charlotte (date) and Senate President Pro-tem Marc Basnight of Manteo (date).
The legislative leaders toured new construction on campus, met with Chancellor Meadors, toured nearby COMtech and taped 30-minute talk shows in the studios of WNCP-TV with host Prof. Mike DeCinti. The programs were aired on Time Warner’s Cable Channel 6 and the local PAX-TV affiliate.
All three went on record with kind words for the University.
Sen. Basnight: “I came here to see how we are going to get to 6,000 students in here. Your chancellor is fantastic, and I met with faculty and reviewed construction projects.”
Rep. Morgan: “I think it is extremely important for us to get out of the confines of Raleigh. It amazes me to see the new construction on your campus, and the pride and enthusiasm that Chancellor Meadors has for this institution.”
Rep. Black: “The university system is the driving force behind North Carolina’s economy, just as UNCP is the catalyst for the local economy here. I want to make sure that we are creating the infrastructure so that every student in North Carolina who wants an education can get one.”
Dr. Glen Burnette, Jr., Vice Chancellor for University and Community Relations said the legislative visits on our campus are important.
“Part of the mission of University and Community Relations is to promote our University among our local and state legislators,” Dr. Burnette said. “It is important to bring our state’s key leaders closer to this great institution.”
Jennifer Smith hired as alcohol awareness coordinator
In eight years of working in substance abuse counseling, Jennifer Smith has seen the negative outcomes of alcohol abuse.
As the University’s new alcohol awareness coordinator, Smith will have the opportunity to jump in on the side of early prevention.
“What excites me about this program is that it is a proactive strategy, targeting prevention at a critical stage in the lives of young people,” Smith said.
Smith comes from Southeastern Regional Mental Health Center to UNCP, where she will launch a program aimed at curbing high-risk drinking among students. The program, entitled SPARC (Study to Prevent Alcohol Related Consequences), is funded at five universities in North Carolina by a National Institute of Health grant through the Wake Forest University’s Bowman Gray School of Medicine.
The universities – Duke, Western Carolina, UNC Greensboro, Appalachian State and UNCP – are a testing ground for the prevention program, which seeks to change the environment surrounding high-risk alcohol use by college students.
“Our wellness surveys show that UNC Pembroke is about the same as the national standard as far as alcohol use is concerned,” Smith said. “What is unique about the program is that few campuses have one staff member whose only mission is to combat alcohol abuse.”
George Gressman, Assistant Director for the Office of Counseling and Testing, applied for the $150,000, three-year grant.
“Not only do we have one person devoted full-time to this issue, but for the first time we have a specific budget for alcohol awareness programs,” Gressman said. “This program is about environmental change.”
Smith will form a broad coalition of “stakeholders” at the University and in the surrounding community. The coalition may include fraternities, sororities, student government, faculty, staff, merchants, churches, local governments and law enforcement agencies.
“These are the people and groups who deal with high-risk behaviors,” Smith said. “Our first objective is to promote positive social norms, and our second goal is to reduce the availability of alcohol.”
High-risk behavior is defined as binge drinking and drinking and driving or engaging in other dangerous activities. Smith said that changing culture is “a lofty goal” but a worthy one.
“We work to be a change agent for a culture,” she said. “This is a vulnerable age, especially for freshmen who may be away from home for the first time and have a lot of freedom.”
“It’s a freedom to make bad decisions, but it’s also freedom to make good decisions,” she said. “I am very optimistic that we can make changes.”
Smith has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and a Master of Science and an Education Specialist degree in counselor education, all from UNC Greensboro. She is an Asheboro native.
For more information about SPARC, call (910) 521- 6202, Ext. 6580.
Campaign for Compassion Week is March 29 – April 2
The annual Campaign for Compassion Week, sponsored by LSOP (Leadership and Service Opportunities Program) and SGA (Student Government Association), is March 29 through April 2.
Faculty and staff are asked to inform students of the events and to encourage them to attend these programs:
Other upcoming events of interest:
A Women’s History Month program is Monday, March 22. The theme this year is “Embracing the Spirits of the Past: Honoring Women's History Month.” There will be a ghost tour at 7 p.m., starting at the Lowry Bell Tower.
There is a “Teaching Talk” on
service-learning for faculty and staff, Tuesday, March 23,
WEB SITES OF INTEREST