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SPUR Weekly Update!

Updated July 02, 2002

Renovations are underway! Check back every Wednesday for an update on the construction along with progress photos! Previous weeks' photos and updates are included as part of the SPUR photo diary. The full diary will be available on CD at the end of the project.

Check out the new historic artifact section in the diary that highlights some of the historic elements uncovered during the construction. Our very own urban archaeology project.

My apologies for not captioning pictures. If you have trouble identifying what the picture shows, the picture file names are fairly descriptive.

Note: next week's update will be late (Wednesday or Thursday) as the photographer and webmaster will be out of town.

What's happened this past week

Electrical and plumbing work continued throughout the house, including waste water lines in Women's Head and new electrical service for the first floor. New sprinkler lines are run in the kitchen, dining room, living room, chapter room and front hall. Some sprinkler work is happening in other areas of the house.

The Massachusetts Architectural Access Board denied our exemption from handicap accessibility requirements on the basis of the small size of the single sleeping room. Now we are applying for a variance to allow us to not have to conform to the rules. To support our application, we met with the Brookline Commission for the Disabled and the Boston Center for Independent Living to obtain letters of support and have letters of support from our neighbor, Mr. Berliner, and MIT.

We are proposing making the first floor completely accessible including some modifications so we do not have to make the other floors accessible. the following changes to our original plans: incline part of the front porch so a wheelchair can get into the house, expand guest head into a full bath, add a "kitchenette" in the dining room to avoid having to make the kitchen accessible, and add book cases in the chapter room to make up for the lost shelving in the library.

The meeting on our application is Monday. Unfortunately, the outcome of the meeting is uncertain and the Access Board could rule anything from accepting our variance to requiring full compliance (which would include an elevator and accessible bathrooms and study rooms), either immediately or within three years. However, due to the support of the two disabled advocate groups we've met with, the chance for a ruling in our favor is greatly increased.

Due to the costs of the accessibility changes, and a bunch of unexpected items (mostly plumbing and electrical related) we've had to eliminate some projects that we had originally planned on doing, but had held back on until we knew what unexpected items came up. These include, redoing the personal room floors, new solid core doors for the personal rooms, AC in the dorm, a railing on the roof over the front porch, and shoring up Big Back's bay window (which is apparently structurally sound)

What's happening this coming week

Happy Fourth of July! Plumbing and electrical work continue. New wall in Men's Head should be framed.

Pictures from this past week

Plumbing work:

Electrical work:

Sprinkler work:

Demo of wall between Men's Head and Pansy:

Opening into corners of the dorm:

Windows removed for repairs:

Lots of construction supplies:

Window uncovered in the laundry room:

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