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Clark professors start petition over building conditions

Clark’s conditions worsen, petition starts
The+Andrew+G.+Clark+buildings+B+wing+Oct.+15.+Clark+B+consists+of+two+hallways+connecting+the+second+and+third+floors+of+the+A+and+C+wings.
Collegian | Michael Marquardt
The Andrew G. Clark building’s B wing Oct. 15. Clark B consists of two hallways connecting the second and third floors of the A and C wings.

The Andrew G. Clark Building is plagued with issues, and they are only growing worse. One of Colorado State University’s most traveled and used buildings has been falling to pieces and failing to meet expectations. Now professors are fighting back.

Professors at CSU began a petition titled “Clark Revitalization Action” on the popular website change.org in an effort to make changes to Clark. The petition is listed as being started by the Clark Collective. It is aimed directly at CSU President Amy Parsons and CSU vice presidents Janice Nerger, Rick Miranda and Brendan Hanlon. The petition starts off with a firm message and a list of their urgent concerns.

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“Since the original plans to ‘transform’ the Clark Building have given way to some work on Clark A, demolition of Clark B (replaced with a new building) and not much work on Clark C, there is considerable uncertainty about how these plans will actually unfold,” the petition reads.

The petition opened just days before the recent leaking in Clark. After videos surfaced online of Clark A leaking water from the ceiling, the petition is now even more relevant.

The roof leaks all the time — in faculty and grad student offices, the mailroom, the conference room, the hallway, classrooms,” said Professor Robert Duffy, who teaches in Clark. “The HVAC also leaks, breaks down all of the time, leaving offices too hot or too cold. Some windows won’t open; others won’t close all the way. The water fountains don’t work. The bathrooms are a mess, and the fixtures are often broken. There are mice, bees and wasps in offices. And then, of course, there is the asbestos.”

These are just some of the issues that affect Clark in all three of its sections. Even the newer Clark A is still in need of work. The school and its administration with Parsons are being targeted for these issues. However, the blame is hard to pinpoint.

Accountability here is complex,” said Matthew Hitt, an associate professor who also teaches in Clark. “Many public institutions — especially in a state like Colorado that has voter-imposed constitutional limits and requirements on how much tax revenue can be collected and spent by the state government — suffer from chronic underfunding that results in significant and ultimately quite expensive deferred maintenance issues.”

Hitt also spoke about the petition. While many professors have signed it and helped with its creation, not everyone agrees with the petition.

“I have not signed any petitions and do not plan to do so,” Hitt said. “I don’t want to speculate on the motivations of those individuals who did so.”

Students have also seen the issues with Clark, and many have voiced their concerns with the building and its future. There are plans for work to begin on Clark in 2024, but many are worried about the changes to come and when they will arrive.

“These are not problems we as a department can solve on our own,” Duffy said. “It would be ideal if the university provided some financial and logistical support.”

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As of now, the petition has over 150 signatures with a goal of 200. The petition ends with a clear message of concern.

“We are requesting the support (financial and logistical) as well as the active involvement of the central administration in the Clark renovation,” reads the final paragraph of the petition. “Given what little has been communicated about plans for accommodating faculty, staff and students — in both the B and C wings — this request is urgent.”

Reach Tyler Weatherwax at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @twwax7272.

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About the Contributor
Tyler Weatherwax
Tyler Weatherwax, News Editor
Tyler Weatherwax is a second-year attending Colorado State University. He has lived in the state of Colorado for his entire life and grew up just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park. He is currently majoring in journalism and media communication and is a news editor for The Collegian and assistant news director for KCSU. Weatherwax hopes to share some of the world with people through his reporting and experiences. His goal as a journalist is to bring information to others in the hopes that it inspires and educates them in their lives. He also tries to push himself into the unknown to cause some discomfort in his life and reporting. Weatherwax has been a DJ for 90.5 FM KCSU as well as 88.3 FM KFFR. Some things Weatherwax enjoys doing are playing bass guitar, reading, collecting records, going outside and spending time with his friends and family. Weatherwax hopes to become a journalist after he graduates and to see more of the world.

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