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UBIT's Role in South Campus Demolitions

Schoellkopf Hall on UB's South Campus

Published August 15, 2017

by Benjamin Blanchet

As of August 2017, MacDonald, Pritchard and Schoellkopf Halls on South Campus will soon be history. After years without occupants, the buildings nearest Michael Hall will be demolished, and UB Information Technology is doing our part to assist.

Out with the Old

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Benjamin Blanchet (UB student, Class of 2018) is an English major with an interest in journalism. After graduating from UB, he hopes to attend grad school and pursue a career writing about music and the arts. An Albany, NY native, Benjamin enjoys biking and reading in his spare time.

Before the demolition, UBIT will be going through to remove technology infrastructure in the buildings.

Grant Ladue, UBIT Network Technician with UBIT’s Network and Classroom Services, is part of the demolition preparations. Ladue said one of the two major IT removals is the transfer of cameras which face Kimball Hall.

“The cameras that are on Pritchard and Michael are pointed toward Kimball’s entrances as a security measure, so those cameras need to come down and be placed on Kimball itself,” Ladue said. “Kimball’s floors and ceilings have tested positively for asbestos, so we need a special facilities crew to do the work necessary to establish a conduit path to make those work.”

After establishing the path, a contractor will pull cable through and mount the cameras onto the outside of the building.

Besides making sure the cameras move, UBIT is also involved in making sure a cable for a Blue Light safety phone nearby feeds to a different building.

“Facilities has established most of the pathway – they need to trench from where they’ve got it to the existing blue light phone,” Ladue said. “Once they do that, we can get distances and proper cabling pulled into it, and re-establish the connection to the phone.”

Getting the Job Done

Prior to UBIT’s removal of cameras and a phone line, technical staff previously removed the campus cable facilities attached to the buildings, which were former residence halls. The project started in 2016; for Ladue, this is his first time involved in a demolition project.

“I’ve been mostly doing off-campus conduit work downtown for the last five years, so this is my first role with on-campus fiber,” Ladue said.

“There are different challenges with this project -- when you have to dig up a road, there are different things involved than when you have to go into a building that has asbestos issues. We’re learning this as we go, but I’m working closely with Facilities to handle that as I deal with the IT side of things.”