Campus News

Sending Windows Out into the World

Story posted August 22, 2000

Windows through which Theta fraternity members looked out at the world will soon grace the homes of low- and moderate-income New England families.

With the help of a local organization, Bowdoin is putting the old windows to good use.

Since fraternities are no longer a part of Bowdoin life, the College is renovating the former Kappa Delta Theta house to serve as the new admissions office in 2001. As part of the renovation, the exterior windows will be removed and replaced with newer windows more appropriate to the design of the house. Though the windows are no longer of use to Bowdoin, they are only 10 to 20 years old and still have enough life left in them to be of use to someone else, said Gregory Hogan, construction manager for Bowdoin.
So Bowdoin is donating the windows to the Maine Housing and Building Materials Exchange.

The exchange first began finding new homes for old building materials in 1993. It was founded to enable low- to moderate-income homeowners to upgrade their homes at modest prices by using second-hand materials, said George Dearborn, assistant manager of the Sanford exchange office.

Donations are accepted from individuals or organizations; then those wishing to purchase the materials apply to the exchange. If they meet income guidelines, they are able to purchase the materials for about 60% less than they would cost retail, Dearborn said.

The organization started out in Gray, Maine, with a few used materials and has expanded enough to need a second office in Sanford. Now the exchange even receives offers of donations of new materials, and there are several manufacturers that regularly donate items.

Van Dam and Renner, the architecture firm working on the renovations, suggested that Bowdoin donate the windows to the exchange, rather than storing or disposing of them. The exchange receives many of its donations as a result of such recommendations, Dearborn said.

The College reuses as many materials as possible, Hogan said, but sometimes has no use for an item. Now, Maine Housing and Building Materials Exchange will provide an additional option for materials left over after future Bowdoin projects.

Anyone interested in donating materials should contact the exchange in Gray at (207) 657-2957 or Sanford at (207) 324-4574.

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