Campus grounds receive makeover over summer

Students appreciate new improvements to campus, including better WiFi coverage and infrastructure repairs.


Marika Adamopoulos/THE CHIMES

Melissa Hedrick, Writer

Over the summer, multiple updates were completed around campus, including the installation of new WiFi access points and the beginning of the renovation of Emerson Hall.


Concerning the improvements made to Biola’s wireless network, the main controllers located at Information Technology were replaced so they could transmit data to the access points around campus more effectively.

Also, there are 100 new wireless modems for WiFi in Blackstone and approximately 325 more have been added to other locations around campus. These additions are focused in Hope Hall, Horton Hall and Thompson Hall. Hart Hall will also be updated during Fall 2015.

These new access points are not in all rooms, but strategically placed to create the most consistent amount of coverage.  

“We’re pushing the APs, the access points, into the rooms in order to try to cover dead spots that just weren’t getting a lot of coverage or weren’t getting great coverage in the room,” said Scott Himes, director of network operations for IT.

Students in affected dorms have noticed a positive change in the wireless speeds.

“I like to test the WiFi just every now and then and it generally has a 20 megabyte download and then you’ve got a 21 or 22 upload, which is pretty significant. It’s pretty good so far,” said Cristofer Rodriguez, junior psychology major and Horton Hall resident.


The construction at Emerson Hall is fully underway and expects to be completed by January 2016. This will allow Humanities staff and faculty to move into the building for spring semester 2016. The budget for this project is $3 million.

While some of the plans for larger changes still await confirmation from Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, renovations in the former dorm are already being made. Interior walls that previously divided the dorm rooms are being torn down and will be replaced so rooms are the proper size for offices. A new two-story lobby in the center of the building will be another large change as it will include an elevator and a catwalk bridge between the two buildings on the second floor.


Facilities management has added nine modular buildings to the Grove, which will be utilized throughout the construction of the Alton and Lydia Lim Center for Science, Technology and Health building. Three departments have been moved into these buildings so far and other classrooms from Rood Hall and White Hall will be relocated there as well.


The route into campus from the entrance on La Mirada Ave. along with other areas were recently repaved. A budget of $175,980 covered asphalt removal and replacement, covering the current asphalt in a few parking lots with protective slurry coating and the annual re-striping of curbs, roadways and parking stalls.

“The paving is nice, like the entrance in and out back here behind Blackstone. It’s been good because it was really messed up last year,” said Todd Cary, junior accounting major.


The softball field underwent enhancements including modifications to the infield such as improved drainage. The outfield was laser leveled, new sod was laid and a new warning track was installed, costing $150,141.  

Hope Hall’s hallways and public spaces received new carpeting for a total of $77,239. The Bluff, Thompson, Li and Welch apartments are undergoing exterior painting for $42,990.


Dining area renovations around Eagles Nest and Common Grounds are still pending approval from Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, but facilities management aims to begin over interterm and finish before the spring semester.


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