In an effort to combat flooding issues that have long been notorious in Irion Hall, a rain garden has recently been installed next to the building.
After a summer of water damage, the music faculty received an email from the department of Facilities and Management that explained that a landscape architecture procedure would take place to prevent water from seeping into the south wall of Irion Hall.
Mike Emerson, the executive director of Facilities Management, said that the rain garden is a collaboration between Paul Hack, the supervisor of Grounds and Management, and Facilities and Management.
Hack, a professional arborist, chose the the types of flora for the rain garden.
The rain garden put in place will serve as a garden for native shrubs and plants such as ferns, various types of grasses, and turtleheads.
The flooding that occurred in Irion served as an opportunity to experiment and correct the concrete that has been in place since the construction of the building 107 years ago.
To ensure no more water permeates into the basement, the teams on duty waterproofed and applied hydraulic concrete on the inside to fill air bubbles in the original concrete—which is a result of the concrete not being vibrated when the hall was constructed in 1911.
While this construction is a success for Emerson and his teams, some music students were left frustrated with the construction because of its interference with the set-up of the classrooms.
“I can’t access the rest of Irion besides the two rooms in the basement,” said EC junior James Demeny.
After four weeks of construction, Irion Hall is fully accessible with the rain garden officially completed as of Monday, September 24.