Perched on the hill at the far side of the South Street parking lot is the new physical plant building that is expected to be completed in late November. Workers are putting the final touches on the $2 million building that will resemble a rustic Vermont barn.
What many people are unaware of is that the current building was originally built to house faculty offices, classrooms and a snack bar after Leavenworth Hall burned down in 1971.
“The physical plant was constructed because it was needed to temporarily provide everything Leavenworth Hall provided. It wasn’t an ideal location, but what do you do when a building burns,” said Dean of Academics Joe Mark.
Some Castleton professors fondly recall their days spent in the physical plant.
“I really liked that building because the intimacy and community the building encouraged. The snack room was in the center so you could sit and have coffee with a student instead of meeting in an office,” English professor John Gillen said, humming to himself in between sentences.
Bill Kuehn, sociology and criminology professor, said he too has good memories of his office being located in the physical plant.
“In good weather we had keg parties for students and faculty Friday afternoons in the back outdoors. How things have changed,” he said.
After Leavenworth was rebuilt, the physical plant building transformed into what it is today, with offices for all maintenance workers including plumbers, grounds keepers, electricians, carpenters and janitors. The new facility will provide these workers larger, more technologically equipped areas to perform their duties, said the head of the physical plant, Chuck LaVoie.
“It is specifically designed for us,” he said.
The old facility will be demolished at a later date he said.
“We will relocate to the new building, demolish this building, fill in the dip and level it off, possibly build a small storage space out back,” said LaVoie.
But there are bigger plans for the site as well, college officials said.
“A pavilion will be built that could fit 3,000 people. It could be used for large concerts. It will open up the gateway to the stadium,” said Dean of Administration Scott Dikeman.
LaVoie said the new facility is far enough along where the interior walls have been put up and workers are painting and doing finish work inside and to the yard area as well. He said everyone can’t wait to relocate to the new building.
“The nice part about the location of it is that it brings South Street to campus. Everyone’s really excited about the new facility,” said LaVoie.