Due to safety hazards involving erosion, the “P” — a large letter “P” structure at the top of a hill near campus — has been closed off to the university painting crew that usually goes and paints the structure back to white.
It has been closed off for several months.
According to Director of Facilities Planning and Capital Projects Joel Neel, the erosion was discovered when the painting crew hiked up the hill for its routine painting of the “P.”
“The soil around the ‘P’ is very loose,” Neel said. “Trying to walk up that hill with a bucket of paint and stay on your feet is a little difficult at the moment, so that’s why we are concerned.”
It has become tradition for student groups to paint and decorate the “P,” so long as they have permission. When the students don’t paint the “P” back to white, the university sends out painters to restore it to its original color.
After inspection, Director of Environmental Health and Safety David Ragsdale deemed the current footing around the “P” unsafe for the facility’s painters to safely access the structure. He recommended suspending painting the “P” until the surrounding area can be made safe.
Ragsdale only dealt with the painters but does not think the “P” has been closed off to the general public.
“I don’t think recreational access to the ‘P’ is a huge problem right now,” Ragsdale said. “It’s steep, but it’s significantly different for people who want to hike up there and hang out as opposed to painters who are going up there carrying weight, paint and tools.”
The Department of Facilities Planning is working on a plan to make the “P” safer. They haven’t started the design yet; the project is in its earliest stages, according to Assistant Director of Minor Projects Michael Brennan.