Changes made to the building over the summer
While students were away, Blair got some long-awaited refurbishing and improvements, including new security cameras and a modernized air conditioning system. Here are some of the changes to Blair that took place over the summer.
New cameras were installed across the building to help cover blind spots and update Blair's security system. "Throughout the building, the administration had new cameras put in. Outdoors and new ones in here," building services worker Carl Lacey said. Blair's system was upgraded as a result of a new initiative to keep Blair more secure. "[The administration] put them in because of security; they wanted to know a little more about what's going on inside," Lacey said. The new cameras, which look like their predecessors except a bit smaller, can be found all across the building, especially near the building's entrances.
The aging hardware running the Blair's old AC system was an AST 286 computer, a machine which saw its peak in usage in the late 1980s. The computer was replaced, and the system itself became web-based, which theoretically allows for better control. Thermostats were changed throughout the school as well. As many Blazers might have noticed, the temperature from room-to-room varies. Like any new system, it'll take building services some time to get it working properly. "That's going to take at least until October for [building services] to get it together," Lacey said. "But October 15th we're turning on the heat, so hopefully it'll be back in the spring time – they'll have it correct."
Blair's kitchen staff prepares meals for hundreds of students daily. A grease trap was installed in the kitchen over the summer to make the cooking process more environmentally friendly. Any kitchen's daily operations eventually result in some byproducts such as grease and scum. A grease trap helps to keep such undesirables away from the main wastewater disposal system, minimizing potential blockage and seepage of this waste into the environment. Kitchen Supervisor Erin Kavach explained that this addition was simply a precautionary measure. "Not many of our practices result in that much grease, so its impact is minimal. But it's just another way to make sure that no grease gets into the drains," she said.
The auditorium is the stage for Blair's plays and presentations. Last year, new lights were installed in the auditorium. The change proved a hassle, as theater director Kelly O'Connor explained. "The reality was that they kept putting new bulbs in, and they would quickly burn out. So I suspect that it was a problem with the wiring. So they replaced them with some LEDs. I don't like the LEDs because they're too bright, but at least they stay on," O'Connor said.
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