Several summer renovation projects scheduled

New chiller for Loretto, work at Brunette Park on tap


Loretto Hall will receive a new chiller as part of the summer maintenance schedule

Max Wirth, Reporter

Cathedral has long been home to a beautiful campus. But like any other materials or machines, wear and tear runs its course. Whether it’s renovating Brunette Park or updating the air conditioning for the almost 100-year-old Loretto Hall, Vice President of Operations Mr. Jim McLinn ’70 has a plan in place for the summer.

McLinn considers Brunette Park, what will be the new home for softball and baseball, among other sports, “a satellite campus.”

He said, “We are working on making a Little League field have high school dimensions. It is in the process right now.” Cathedral has assumed complete ownership of the institution, and the finalization is set for “somewhere around late June,” he said.

The field crew had aspirations of finishing early, though. “At one time, if everything fell into place, we hoped to have it together by the end of May,” he said, “but a rainy spring set production back.”

Despite weather challenges, the project has made leaps and bounds since ribbon cutting and dedication on Feb. 20. Now, the varsity field is “probably close to 40 percent done,” McLinn said. “The grading of dirt is done and they are now putting in underground drainage pipes. The next steps are to bring in sod, cut the diamond, put up a fence and the scoreboard,” he said.

Now the completion is somewhere around late June, weather dependent as always. “But the stands and press box are ready for action,” he said with a laugh.

Through the acquiring of the property, Cathedral takes a second Little League diamond into its possession. “The hope is to turn it in to a softball stadium,” he said, “because Little :eague dimensions are same as high school softball.” The earliest possible completion could be in the fall, McLinn said.

In addition to Brunette Park, Cathedral’s second-largest project is replacing the Loretto Hall chiller. “It’s the big box by Cunningham, and it actually weighs around 25 tons,” he said.

This is an upgrade of a chiller that has some age and functioning issues. “The current chiller is 12 to 15 years old, the average life span,” he said. This machine maintains proper humidity and runs the air cooling for the English building.

The library is getting in on the transformation action, too. “We are undergoing some renovation of the Baker board room, as well. We want to take the board room and when there isn’t any activity, it can be a new research area. (The room) has undergone shelving for a large collection of books donated by (a retired Butler professor).” McLinn noted that new LED lighting as been installed and wheels have been added to the bottom of the tables to provide easier mobility.

Along with the Baker board room, the teacher work room in Kelly Hall will receive new carpeting.

There are also routine summer fix-ups that go under the radar. These take place while students are on break. “It’s the normal waxing of the floors, shampooing the carpets and cleaning the furniture. It’s doing things we can’t do while students are here,” he said. The two-and-a-half-month opening gives the janitorial crew much more access while cleaning.

The school could be “spending upwards of $190,000 in renovation, give or take,” he said, “because some might fall off due to necessity of fixture or replacement.” Money invested in different upgrades and new equipment, painting and random repairs factor into the addition.

“We are playing the lockers by ear,” he said on whether or not the top floor of Kelly Hall would undergo a paint makeover.

The projected costs are in the same ballpark as the typical summer. McLinn referenced what he called his “deferred maintenance budget,” indicating the school’s primary priorities and second-tier necessities.

McLinn displayed an Excel spreadsheet that reveals each summer’s needs after a long school year. He said, “The things listed, such as painting lockers or any new equipment, can shift up in priority or can move right a column to be seen as a future, next year project.”