The Albion College Student Senate has been looking for a way to bring students together who might not be involved in a club or organization. Last fall’s construction and remodeling left Albion College with unused stones and building materials. Student Senate, which has been experiencing a projects budget surplus, has announced its first campus project in three years: an on-campus fire pit. The pit will be constructed in the open space between Baldwin and Twin in the spring.
Members of Student Senate thought the fire pit project would be a great way to create more of a community feeling on campus. A fire pit would provide students with more things to do with their friends, said Andrea Walles, Woodlands, Texas senior and Vice President of Student Senate.
“The only place for students to get together is the old fire pit behind the Dow,” Walles said. “It isn’t a central place. It’s basically nonexistent, and it’s not very nice. If we were to have a new fire pit in the middle of campus, it would really impact the students. We’d have a central gathering place that didn’t require being in a group or club to use. It’s a way to get students up and out of their dorms and spend quality time outside together.”
The fire place by the Dow requires a permit to use whereas the new pit will not. Students must also know how to start a fire from scratch at the Dow pit. However, the new pit by Twin will be gas powered
The fire pit will be circular with glass surrounding it and an automatic on and off switch. The fire pit will be accessible with Albion College OneCards and regulated by Campus Safety, so any destruction or problems with the pit can be traced back to previous users.
The new pit’s central location would be easier to access and have a higher profile on campus. Cleaning and fire pit upkeep will be done by the facilities department. Mark Frever, head of grounds, and Kenneth Snyder, director of campus safety, are working hard to make this dream become a reality. Student Senate is not too worried about vandalism or littering at the pit, because they hope the pit will help build a community for students on campus.
The money for the pit comes from a surplus of Student Senate’s money over the years. Walles commented that Student Senate hasn’t worked on a project that brings in all the students together recently. Without a major project in the past three years, Student Senate was able to donate $15,000 to the construction of the fire pit.
To use the pit, students will contact Campus Safety to obtain the key. Having Campus Safety in charge of the pit will help the college campus limit misbehavior at the firepit.
Construction will start once the utilities are able to get under ground to install gas lines. Once the snow is melted, Albion Electric Triangle Plumbing will help with construction to have the water mains ready by April.