Finishing touches at College Durant

By Cathy Cockrell, Public Affairs


Chana Bailey

Facilities Manager Chana Bailey
Cathy Cockrell photo

21 August 2002 | For Facilities Manager Chana Bailey and her staff in Housing and Dining, three words sum up the last week’s final preparations at the campus’s newest residence hall: “It’s been crazy.”

While a small army of tradespeople applied finishing touches to College Durant Apartments — planting trees, sealing cement floors, testing fire alarms, installing railings, caulking corners, and installing closet poles — campus staff conquered a comparable avalanche of details. Right down to midnight Saturday, just hours before the first students were scheduled to arrive, they numbered mailboxes, tested and labeled phone and data lines, cleaned mirrors, even installed toilet-paper rolls.

“It’s the little things that count,” says Bailey. “This is their home,” she says of the hall’s 120 new residents. “I want to give them a welcoming environment. They’re the ones who are going to set the tone and create a community at College Durant. They’re the pioneers.”

Not all of the 11th-hour projects qualified as “little.” At midweek, Bailey ordered a wide-screen TV and a “beautiful upright piano” for a lounge. On Friday a mountain of mattresses was delivered at the curb; a few days later, washers and dryers for the laundry room arrived.

The site has a special resonance for Bailey, who remembers when it was a campus parking lot. As a child, she helped her mother, who worked for Parking and Transportation, during busy moments there, on football days.

At 8 a.m. Sunday, she became property manager of the apartment complex that now occupies that turf.

“It’s gorgeous. I’m so, so excited,” Bailey beams. “The residents are in, and they’re loving it.”


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