The women's locker room in Haas Pavilion was given a timely face-lift over winter break.
The changes made to the facility were "more cosmetic than structural," said Karen Maggio, Assistant Vice President of Business Affairs. "It underwent some redecorating and received lots of new paint."
This is not the first time the locker room has necessitated such intensive repair. According to Maggio, Haas Pavilion, Mills' gymnasium built in 1972, takes constant maintenance and has undergone similar changes many times.
According to Themy Adachi, Mills' athletic director, the improvements to the gym included the repair and replacement of shower stalls, the cleaning and painting of corrosions on lockers, the painting of benches and the refinishing of the floor; it was redone with a gritty paint to prevent people from slipping.
In addition to the women's locker room, the laundry room adjacent to it also underwent repairs. These two rooms held one serious problem in common. Mold.
The mold was "due to poor ventilation and housekeeping," said Maggio.
According to findlaw.com, a website for legal resources, mold in commercial buildings is caused by excessive moisture. Adachi said that the women's locker room and laundry room got a lot of moisture from water leakage because they are underground.
Nina Rubenstein, a sophomore on Mills' volleyball team who has not been in the locker rooms since the end of the Fall semester said that she hopes they have cleaned out the mold.
Being in areas with mold can prove detrimental to one's health. Findlaw.com advised that detection of a musty odor let off by mold is evidence of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in the air that can be inhaled, some of which are considered very dangerous to humans.
In tandem with cleaning the mold out of the locker room, the laundry room was completely redone by "tearing everything out and cleaning and putting in new fixtures and appliances and a new ventilation system," said Maggio.
Along with the remodeling of the women's locker room and laundry room, Haas Pavilion has undergone extensive changes including a roof replacement and the installation of a new Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system. This has led some students, such as sophomore Chrissy Fisher, to believe that it is time for Haas Pavilion to be re-built.
The building "is so old compared to the modern direction that Mills is going," said Fisher.
She said that Haas needs improvements that will accommodate the growing freshwomen population such as a bigger fitness center and a legal-sized basketball court.
Budgetary issues are a determining factor in deciding whether or not changes will be made to the gym.
"Whenever we have money we try to fix things up bit by bit," said Adachi.
According to Maggio, the women's locker room and the laundry room were not from the same budget. The budget for the women's locker room (not including the laundry room) exceeded its $50,000 budget. Much money has been devoted as of late to repairs for the Haas Pavilion; construction of its new roof was recently completed.
Many of the Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation (APER) staff offices are located in Haas Pavilion just one floor above the women's locker room. Mills' Athletics Operations Director Heather Lang said, "The improvements to the locker room really brighten the place up."
Adachi said she hopes that people will find the locker room more inviting with its safer and cleaner atmosphere.
First time user of both the fitness center and the women's locker room, graduate student LaWanda Muhammad said that she was "happy so far," with the condition of the gym.
"The feedback that I've heard so far has been positive," said Lang, "and I think the facility will be more pleasant and safer for users."
Plans for the replacement of the problematic temperature control system are also in the works, said Adachi.
"We're moving many projects and moving so quickly," Maggio said.