As I drove by Kellogg Community College's brand new Miller Gym, I couldn't help but notice the big brown spot on the metal siding facing North Avenue.  Was it a prank by some rival school?  Was it a problem with the materials used in construction?  The building just opened last year!.

I got out to take a closer look, and found it's a problem at the gym entrance.  And the sidewalks.  And signs posted around the grounds.  So I reached out to KCC's Chief Communications Officer Eric Greene, and he provided the obvious answer.

"The discoloration is from our sprinkler system. This is an ongoing challenge all over campus with buildings, signage, and sidewalks."

KCC Miller Gym-TSM Photo

Iron in the water is nothing new in the Battle Creek area.    But it's hard to take, given the fact that KCC is investing so much effort in updating the Campus.

Greene explained the ongoing challenge for the KCC Facilities Department.  "We have several wells on the North Avenue campus which are used to irrigate our grounds. We use the wells to avoid the expense of having to hook up and pay for city water just to water the lawns. However, because the local well water contains so much iron, it can leave discoloration on buildings, signs and sidewalks. We routinely adjust sprinkler heads to minimize this, but windy conditions and the occasional malfunctioning or damaged sprinkler head cause regular challenges. We do use a chemical to remove the discoloration when it gets particularly bothersome. We want everything at KCC to be functional, but we also want it to be aesthetically pleasing, especially when our campus is often described by visitors as beautiful, green and well-kept. We're definitely working on this particular challenge in an ongoing fashion."

Wow, that some hard water!