By GREG JONES
The construction of the Convergence Center and Hyatt Place Hotel on and near the University of Mary Washington campus has generated mixed reactions among the student body.
Within the next two years, on and off campus facilities will be going through a considerable amount of construction.
Junior business major Maggie Willis is excited for the future of the school improvements.
“I think the Convergence Center will add character to UMW’s campus and enable students to easily work with fellow students and professors with the newest technology right at their fingertips,” said Willis.
The UMW community will soon have resources available that are not typical for a university the size of UMW.
Senior international affairs major Logan Martinez believes UMW is headed in the right direction.
“It will be offering a lot for future students. It’s a great investment, and I wish I would be here to see the completion,” said Martinez. “It is exciting to think about.”
While the construction will bring changes to the campus, it is placing many constraints on students. Senior business major Terrence Watson, like many students, must take the detour route behind the Simpson Library.
“I think the idea of the new Convergence Center is a great idea for campus,” said Watson. “My only problem is the way that the construction is messing with Campus Walk.”
The gated construction site has sealed off the front entrance to Alvey Hall and Campus walk on the north side of the Simpson library. Junior international affairs major Jahna Paige has no choice but to use the detour.
“The construction on campus is just a disturbance,” said Paige. “Honestly, it’s a hassle. When I want to go to the library I have to walk on College Avenue, and walk down to where the Nest meets to get on Campus Walk to access the library.”
Senior business major Kevin Yarnell disagrees with how the construction has been handled.
“The construction on campus is very inconvenient when trying to fulfill my daily duties,” said Yarnell.
Other issues may arise with the concern of the noise level.
Senior English major, Morgan Harding, worries about the disturbance the construction may cause.
“I think the new additions to campus are great, however, being around while construction isn’t,” said Harding. “The construction for the Convergence Center is noisy during the day and disrupts those studying in the library.”
According to the UMW website, there have been critical steps to alleviate the noise level, especially during finals. The W.M. Jordan construction company has already been asked to minimize noise level as much as possible. The general construction schedule will be 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each weekday, on and off campus.
The construction on campus may be an inconvenience, but it is not a concern to all students.
Morgan Downing, senior psychology and women and gender studies major, thinks the hotel is too much.
“The construction on campus is fine with me; I am much more concerned with the off campus construction – the hotel, for example,” said Downing. “UMW is a school, not a corporation, and while business and finance are important for UMW’s future, the focus needs to remain on the students.”
The Convergence Center will be a state-of-the-art four-story structure The construction is expected to be completed by late 2014 and will be in full use fall 2014.
The five-story, 66,000 square foot Hyatt Place Hotel will provide space for any event UMW holds. The Hyatt Place Hotel Grand Opening will be in the fall of 2013.