Andy Baker ’00 immediately felt a connection to the brotherhood upon his arrival at Trinity-Pawling as a student from the Midwest, and now contributes to those connections with students as a faculty member. “It was clear from the very beginning the commitment from the faculty to ensure students’ success,” Baker says. “Now, from a different perspective, I see this in action every day.” Serving as Director of the Physical Plant has allowed Baker to become involved with shaping the future of the Trinity-Pawling campus, most recently, through his role overseeing the construction of the Smith Field House.
“It is very visual and impactful,” says Baker. “In my current role, I have the unique opportunity to tackle problems facing the campus and make improvements. It’s something we try to focus most of our decision-making around. The biggest challenge is trying to connect a new building to three different buildings and make it look seamless when construction is finished. It’s all in the details.”
Some of the details include those that aid in sustainability efforts. Smith Field House is being heated and cooled with heat exchanged from a groundwater supply from the School’s front quad. “There are forty wells, 450’ deep each,” Baker explains. “We are basically transferring the heat either out of the ground and into the building (for heat) or out of the building and into the ground (for air conditioning). We decided to move forward with this system because we felt it provides a great return on invested capital.”
For Baker, he feels a deeper connection with the Smith Field House space as an alumnus. “As a student-athlete at T-P, I was competing against other schools on Wednesdays and Saturdays,” Baker explains. “Now, I’m competing with them on a daily basis—and the physical campus is a large component in maintaining a competitive position to leverage our many strengths against other schools.”
Follow progress on the Smith Field House here.