Bellarmine Hall, the mansion atop a green rolling hill, has come to symbolize commencement at Fairfield. But scaffolding now covers the face of the building, leaving seniors worried that construction will interfere with tradition.

Ric Taylor, Fairfield’s assistant vice president for campus planning operations, said the traditional back porch setting at the mansion would again be used for this year’s commencement.

“Graduation will be at Bellarmine Hall,” said Taylor, who is in charge of the oversight of construction and renovation at Fairfield. Taylor cited a mold problem on the lower level as the reason for the restoration, adding that the building’s age was also a factor.

Taylor said the building would look “appropriate” for commencement.

“We plan to have the scaffolding down on the side of the building that faces thegreat lawn. Other faces of the building may still have scaffolding in place,” he said.

The area by the great lawn will be the first area being worked on, and that construction will take place this spring. However, construction of the building will go on throughout the summer.

“Weather will really be the determining factor as to how much work will be completed before commencement,” Taylor said.

Some seniors remain unconvinced that Bellarmine will be ready.

“I seriously doubt that they’ll actually be finished with construction by May, since every other construction project has been pushed back in the four years we’ve been here.” said Jessica Mauro, ’04.

Taylor does not anticipate a problem with the appearance of the lawn.”The area should not be disturbed too much by the work, so we don’t expect muddy lawns, Taylor said.

Asked if there were alternate plans for commencement in the event a setback in construction, Taylor said, “We haven’t discussed anything like that. We’re hoping we don’t have to make a decision like that.”

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