After closing due to a water main break on May 20, the Foundry –– located on University Avenue behind Sibley and Rand Halls –– has reopened for the fall semester, though officials remain unsure of what caused the leak. The University officially announced the temporary closing of the Foundry on May 21. According to Prof. Michael Ashkin, art, students were forced to go “elsewhere to work” while the Foundry was closed this summer. However, classes have been in session regularly since the start of the school year, he said.No official cause of the water main break has been discovered yet, raising questions regarding whether it could occur again in the future.“It’s all speculation at this point,” said Michael Wilkinson, construction manager at Sibley and Milstein Halls. He added, however, that the University will likely get a better idea in the spring of what caused the water main break when the surrounding road is scheduled to be “torn up” for construction on Milstein Hall. In the meantime, officials from the University are continuing to work on stabilizing the Foundry and plan to create a comprehensive stabilization system for the Foundry once the cause of the break is discovered.Regardless of the plan, Wilkinson said the pipes for the building need to be replaced. According to Wilkinson, the pipes are between 90 and 100 years old and need to be replaced in any eventual stabilization project.The Foundry is often considered a local historic landmark. It is the last remaining building from a complex of industrial buildings that were built north of Sibley Hall. It previously served as a blacksmith shop for students of the former Sibley College of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanic Arts. Today, the building serves as a sculpture studio and workshop for students of the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning.
Original Author: Elaine Lin