New developments are continuing to grow at the Facilities Department at the Eastman School of Music. While you may not have noticed any changes, the practice room doors now shut properly, and you may have noticed that you can no longer move that old brass door handle.

Director of Facilities Lou Wiesner and Assistant Director of Facilities Harvey Gamble realized that a practice room door at Eastman is very much like a freezer door — it’s heavy, it’s thick and it should close well.

So they ordered the same materials as those used in doors of large freezers, including black gasketing material, which seats the door properly and helps with sound proofing and a frame and pump latch, located at the inside top of the door.

The pump latch involves a rubber ball rolling into place as the door is pushed into the closed position. The ball rolls back out of the latch when the door opens. The mechanism’s resistance is adjustable, allowing for easy repairs and alterations.

Finally, the old door handles are pinned into place so that they no longer function. Because these old handles are difficult to use or to fix, Wiesner and Gamble decided to immobilize the old handles and use only the new mechanisms for opening and closing the door.

Ray Koehler, who has served at Eastman for almost 20 years, reports that changes started on the sixth floor of the Annex and moved down to the second floor. He has gotten positive comments from students, who have been accommodating when his crew has needed to fix a door.

Facilities is considering putting up instructions to properly use the new set-up. The cost per door was just under $100. Gamble commended Koehler and his team for their installation of the new materials.

When asked about the hot spots in the Annex, Paul Sanderson, a plumber who controls the boilers, explained that, while there is a thermostat and an air grate in each room, the thermostats tend to affect the temperature in more than one room. Sometimes the thermostats leak air, changing the temperature of the room.

Another problem is that some students have attempted to adjust the heat by themselves, damaging the thermostat or skewing the temperature balances between the rooms. Sanderson asks students to call x4-1170 with any heating concerns.

Wiesner and Gamble have also been consulting with the city parking department concerning safety and theft in the East End Garage. The garage management is changing and its new security staff will include two guards during the day and one at night, all recognizable by their bright neon vests and flashlights. Regular patrols will also increase.

In addition, garage management is looking for funds for cameras and call buttons. Gamble explained that the current camera system has become “antiquated.” The garage is also considering a locked, long-term parking lot. This would be a fenced-in area inside of East End Garage which could only be opened by an attendant on duty.

Wiesner pointed out that Eastman-UR Security is not involved with the East End Garage, except that they are willing to escort anyone to his or her car, 24 hours a day. In order to arrange an escort, students can call x5-3333.

Security is also considering turning both the computer lab in the basement of the main building and the Annex into areas that can only be accessed with a UR or Eastman ID.

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