MCLA Improves HVAC Costs with New Steam Line Project with DCAMM Funding

March 13, 2023


As part of a critical infrastructure upgrade, MCLA looks to start Phase 2 of a significant steam/water line replacement project this spring with $11 million dollars allocated by the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM).  

The construction began late last summer in front of Murdock Hall and behind Bowman Hall and will continue this spring between blocks A and B in the Flagg Townhouses. The improvements will aid in conserving water and heat.  

Since Joseph DaSilva became the new Vice President of Administration & Finance in 2021, his goal has been to address structural problems on the exterior of campus buildings as well as parking lots and accessibility.  

“By prioritizing stewardship in infrastructure repairs, we’re ensuring the buildings on campus will be sustained and help reduce future maintenance costs,” DaSilva said. 

The most dated building on campus, Mark Hopkins, was vacated for over a month in 2021 to address water leakage by repairing the roof. The same issues were addressed at Freel Library and the Amsler Campus Center. 

This June marks the end of DCAMM funding over the last five years for a total of $4.5 million. The College expects to receive another equivalent amount for projects between fiscal years ‘24 through ‘28.  

With that allocation, the College determines high-priority projects, and consults with a “house doctor,” or architects and contractors, to evaluate and draft a proposal in which the work must be completed during the fiscal year periods.  

The last major renovation in the Amsler Campus Center consisted of a modernized dining hall, installing new gym floors, and the building of a new fitness center. Additional project funding stemmed from Massachusetts State College Building Authority (MSCBA) and Aramark.  

Prior to that, DCAMM funded the complete renovation of Bowman Hall. 

Looking ahead, DaSilva said the windows on the second floor of the Freel Library will be replaced to prevent water leakage into the building, light fixtures across campus will be enhanced with LED bulbs, and improving signage and wayfinding on campus grounds, which is currently being researched. Additionally, a study is underway to replace the Church Street Center roof. 

“[The roofs] are well beyond their useful life... It’s a high priority. That’s how we determine it through DCAMM. We have to repair the roofs within that year,” said Robert Fortini, Interim Assistant Director of Facilities Management.  

In fiscal year ‘24, there are plans to upgrade the electrical and HVAC in the Campus Center including air conditioning installation in the gymnasium. 

Other completed upgrades: 

  • Venable Hall Theatre received a complete overhaul and improved ADA accessibility in 2021
  • Freel Library received a 250kw generator that will also power Mark Hopkins
  • The Berkshire Towers received a new parking lot, stairs, and drainage system
  • The parking lot on the corners of Corinth and Davenport Streets has been paved
  • The hot water tank was replaced in Berkshire Towers with the addition of a small boiler for the summer months 

About MCLA
At MCLA, we’re here for all — and focused on each — of our students. Classes are taught by educators who care deeply about teaching, and about seeing their students thrive on every level of their lives. In nearly every way possible, the experience at MCLA is designed to elevate our students as individuals, leaders, and communicators, fully empowered to make their impressions on the world. In addition to our 128-year commitment to public education, we have fortified our commitment to equitable academic excellence. For 10 of the last 12 years, MCLA has been named a Top Ten College by U.S. News and World Report. MCLA also appears on the organization’s list of top National Public Liberal Arts Colleges. Since the list was created, MCLA has risen to #33 as a Top Performer on Social Mobility and ranks first among all Massachusetts liberal arts schools, which measures how well schools graduate students who receive Federal Pell Grants. Learn more at