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Teamwork Builds 'Swan Condo'

By Micaela Fikar

Frees isn't the only residence getting an upgrade at Doane.

Doane recently welcomed a new pair of swans, and now there's a new home for them as well. Their winter housing has been completely renovated.

Dan Meyer, the Director of Planned Giving, helped to build the new shed at his home near Roca. He said the old shed, which had been on campus for around 20 years, was in poor condition.

"The previous shed was falling apart," said Meyer. "This new one is easier to clean, and I tried to build it in a way I thought looked like a nice home for our most elegant Doane residents."

The Maintenance department, Advancement department, and the Crete community all pitched in to help bring the "Condo" to life.

"The Maintenance department gave most of the materials," said Dan Meyer, the Director of Planned Giving. "Brian [Flesner] did all the measurements, True Value of Crete donated the paint, and then I donated my time, and the windows, screws, and things like that. It's a good reflection on how everyone can work together to make something good happen. That to me is the key."

Brian Flesner, the Manager of Grounds and Fleet Services for Doane, said he thought it was great the departments could work together to do something fun and creative.

"It was a good project, with not a lot of outside resources," he said.

The Condo's newest residents were signets of Doane swans from last year. The female was taken from Miller Pond, and the male from Doane Lake.

"There were some concerns at first as to whether they would get along," said Flesner. "But we haven't had a single problem. It's been the best possible scenario."

This pair is number seven for Doane, which has had swans on campus since 1980's, said Flesner. The previous male in Miller Pond was attacked and killed by a dog last year, and so the female was removed from the pond, and the new pair replaced them.

"They [the swans] are still figuring things out," said Flesner.  "But I venture to say they'll be like any other pair we've had. They usually live up to 12 years, but depending on their surroundings, they can live up to 20."

Meyer said he hoped the swans would enjoy their new home.

"The swans are so endearing," said Meyer. They're a great symbol of the campus. It's nice that they have a nice place to call home. The Swan Condo."