Gas Leaks, Wild Raccoons, & More!

With a 200-acre campus containing nearly two dozen aging buildings and structures, there is always something leaking, broken, or in need of some attention. One of my roles at the Settlement is to oversee all aspects of our facility operations and maintenance. It has been quite interesting these last couple months!

In November, the main campus had a large gas leak. The gas was turned off for nearly two weeks. It was all hands on deck to dig up the old lines and repair the leak. Even Brent and other members of our administrative team were out with a shovel to bring this crisis to a close! In the end, after lots of hard work in the freezing cold, the gas was restored to all buildings except one. That one building was our old office, the Raymond McLain Building. Due to the age of the building and the gas lines, it was decided to turn off the gas to the old office. It was going to cost more to replace the gas lines than expected. Since our archives are still in the old office, that makes for a very cold work space for our archives specialist, Taylor Adams.

Then during December, we had an unwelcome visitor in our old office (Raymond McLain Building). A raccoon decided to try out the old office space for a bit. Based on the aftermath of his visit, he must not have liked the décor! He tore up the carpet, broke pictures, threw pictures and papers in the floor, tore down curtains, chewed the window frames, chewed holes in the walls, chewed on storage boxes…you get the idea. Thankfully, our Maintenance Foreman Moses caught the raccoon and safely relocated him many, many, many miles away from campus.

The old office building in general is really in bad shape. Termites have done their fair share of damage. There are holes (apparently large enough for a raccoon to enter) in the building, broken windows…the list goes on and on. This building is slated for demolition and reconstruction as the Gathering Place through our upcoming Cornerstone Capital Campaign. The sooner we can get construction started, the better it will be for everyone.