The campus greenhouse is in a state of disrepair.
Certain portions of the UCSB Greenhouse, located between Webb and Noble halls, currently require authorized access and mandatory protective hard hats to ward off potential injuries. Several parts of the greenhouse have also been deemed unfit for access and are roped off completely.
While a partial revamp is set for mid-November, greenhouse manager Joan Calder said only one of the facility’s four dilapidated structures — or “bays” — is scheduled to undergo a complete repair.
Calder said that after years of neglect, entire sections of the greenhouse — including portions that will not be fixed this November, like Bay 4 — are off limits and unsafe.
“Bay 4 is yellow-tagged, it’s a restricted area, ” Calder said. ” It is not open for tours — only my staff and authorized people are allowed in. … Bay 4 window glass is slipping and water comes in over the electric outlets when it rains.”
Edward Blaschke, Assistant Dean for Space and Laboratory Planning, said Bay 4 still hosts visiting students from some biology classes, despite the fact that several glass panes have already fallen from the ceiling.
“These are very old greenhouses,” Blaschke said. “They have been there past their useful life. Bay 4 even has glass panes that are loose – 8 or 9 have already slipped.”
Blaschke said while University funding is restrained by the current economic crisis, certain standards should be upheld.
“We are serious about the issues with safety, but we are in a bad state in the economic climate,” Blaschke said. “It is very hard for us to do the proper maintenance on them. However, anything that involves safety in the greenhouse [is a priority]. Our whole focus is to get in and fix the issues with safety.”
According to Jack Wolever, the Director of Design & Construction Services at UCSB, a meeting was held yesterday in order to locate a contractor to complete renovations on Bay 2.
According to Blaschke, the partial repairs will begin before the end of the year and progress quickly.
“We’re looking to start the repairs from mid-November to mid-December,” Blaschke said. “We have a window to not interrupt any research going on in there. It shouldn’t take long.”
While only Bay 2 has been given the go-ahead for a full revamp, Wolever said, the other bays still pose safety hazards, and Bay 1 is currently abandoned. The College of Letters and Science has yet to schedule repairs for the rest of the greenhouses.
“Bay 4 has a lot of problems which are related to safety,” Wolever said. “We just don’t have direction from the department at this time [for the other greenhouses.]”
-Elliott Rosenfeld contributed to this article.