A Clarkson Mosaic - page 264

By then, work was fully underway. The basement floor was lowered by two feet so that
the same could be done with the ground floor. Unfortunately, by lowering the floor, the
renovators created an unforeseen problem: flooding by spring rains. During one particular
spring early in the 1960s, the rain was so heavy that the basement was flooded by almost two
inches of water. Bound copies of the
New York Times
, shelved at just those two inches above
the floor, were in serious danger, but were moved to safety just in time. After a second floor
was added on one side, and three stack levels for books were added on the other, a brick veneer
was applied to the outside.
Dedicated on October 20, 1956, the finished library was a decided improvement over
the old one, and its 32,000 books were shelved during spring recess. The first floor contained a
reading room, stacks for 30,300 volumes, two offices, and two storage rooms. The second floor
had seminar and microfilm rooms, a microfilm and binding repair shop, a record library, a
listening room, a periodical room, and stacks for 29,200 volumes. The third floor had stacks for
30,000 volumes. For the first time since its founding, Clarkson had a modern, comfortable
On November 8, 1957, Frank Burnap died at age 96. Out of the $600,000 estate left to
his beneficiaries, $450,000 was left to improve and complete the library. With these funds, the
Harriet Call Burnap Library became one of the most complete and current libraries in the North
Unfortunately, despite its being a complete and current library, it had no security system
at all, and students would remove books without signing them out. One particular theft was
remembered by Prof. John Rollins. He had placed a particularly important text on reserve for
his mechanical engineering course, but someone had stolen it from the Reserve Room. Shortly
thereafter while John was proctoring an examination, he picked up a sheet of paper from the
floor, and saw it was a summary of equations from the missing text. Under the student's seat
was the missing text which John found the student had signed out in John's name! That student
was suspended.
Even the seemingly large space for books in this new location proved to be insufficient
for Clarkson's needs. Office space was turned into cubicles for microfilm readers, and other
student-needed spaces. As a result, a trailer was attached behind the building, and the huge
fourth floor area of Snell Hall was called into use for "dead" storage of rarely used material.
Finally, in 1980, the Educational Resources Center (ERC) opened, and Clarkson's
133,000 books and thousands of items of loose materials were moved into this new building on
the hill. (See p. 505) The vacated library was transformed in 1981 into offices and classrooms
to become the new Liberal Studies Center. (See p. 514)
Hill Campus Construction
. The Alumni Memorial Gymnasium was dedicated to the memory
of Clarkson men killed during the war. The first part of the hill dormitory was completed, and
later named for Trustee Blythe Reynolds and longtime Potsdam lawyer and Trustee Frank
The Knight
. The first issue of the &iKnight humor magazine appeared with Wilmot "Bill"
Abbuhl as its editor in chief.
Other Sports
. Playing as a varsity sport for the first time in the 1955-56 season, the young
soccer team defeated Oswego, Hobart, Syracuse, and Le Moyne, and lost to Plattsburgh,
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