Scaffolding? Still? Why?

By Mike Habegger, Co-Editor in Chief, Web Editor, Layout Editor

It’s my senior year here at McDaniel. I’ve been here for four years, and I’m not graduating early (thank God). It’s been a tumultuous three years so far. Lots of changes. We have a new gym (kinda for me), a different manager at Glar (thumbs up), a new Democratic congress (woot, woot), some new housing (thumbs proportionately-sized-to the-largeness up), and a new Dean of First-Year Students (well, she’s a veteran now).

Yes, many things have changed. And yet, there has been one constant almost the entire time I’ve been in estminster: the scaffolding outside New Acad Bldg.

This building was basically finished at the conclusion of my freshman year. It cost a lot of human and hard capital to put that thing up, believe me. Living in Daniel MacLea, my ears suffered every morning (read: afternoon), listening to all the noises associated with construction.

Finally, it was built, and what a joy it was. So pristine, so elegant, so fulfilling. Everything was finished, the bricks all mortared, the sidewalk finished, and the glass washed. Rumor had it that we were still waiting for a donor of $7 million before it could be named. So we settled with “New Acad Bldg,” as it appears on the Archway. A few weeks after classes began in fall 2005, the scaffolding went up in front of the doors inconveniencing all who entered the building.

Ah, we said, they must be getting ready to put up a name for it. Hooray! And we waited. And waited. They redid the concrete facing once or twice. Still, no name. Still, scaffolding remained.

It went that way for the rest of the year, everyone thinking that “they must be doing something.” And then it went that way for the next year, everyone thinking that “they must still be doing something.”

“The scaffolding always seems to be there,” said Kelly Etzel, expert on new McDaniel constructions. “But nothing ever changes.”

Came back to school this year again, early for orientation, settled into the Forlines, looked out my window—no scaffolding! Maybe I wasn’t that excited, but it seemed that whatever they were doing was finally finished.

Orientation, new freshman, choices, Mike Gre—SCAFFOLDING!

These guys are worse than zombies at a Chinese Buffet.

Can you really see that they’ve done anything? Have you ever seen anyone working on it, seriously? I’ve walked by it a maybe 27 million times by now, and have never seen anyone ever standing there with a hammer, a bucket, a nail, a chainsaw, a nuclear weapon—ever.

Went to Tennis the other day at 7:45 a.m. and walking by the accursed scaffolding, we encounter three dudes in front of the scaffolding. I thought I might witness them working. Maybe I caught them the morning after their secret night scaffolding party. No, all they were doing was pointing at the blank wall, making plans, conjectures. Just standing there.


On Friday, I resolved to walk up to the workers, and just be like
“dude, what are you guys doing?” Carefully, I approached. We snuck up on the truck, hoping to catch the guy off guard. It didn’t work. It turned into a Reagan-helicopter thing: we shouted questions as he sped off in the truck.

No answers. No changes. No carved names. Just scaffolding.

Dr. Alles and I got to thinking that they must keep the scaffolding up as incentive. It’s like a ad for your local Rent-A-Center. “Give us the your $7 million donation and your name will be up there in 20 minutes or less, guaranteed or your money back.”

Why is there still scaffolding?