By ROBERT TYSZKA
During the summer of 2013, the existing Chandler Hall will be torn down to make way for a new Campus Center, and the business and psychology departments will be displaced as a result.
The new campus center plans to be 109,000 square feet and cost $45 and $55 million dollars to construct according to the Bullet. The building will extend into the present parking lot along College Avenue, and Chandler. As a result of the new center, two buildings controlled by the UMW Foundation will be flattened to create more parking spaces.
The construction may disrupt the flow of the university, and is expected to be finished by fall of 2014. Some worry that not enough consideration is being taken for the existing Chandler Hall. The historic building, which was built in 1928, holds sentimental value for present and past students. In order to preserve some of the architectural history of the building the committee thought it would be a good idea to preserve some aspects of the building, such as its clock.
It was concluded that the space Chandler occupies would be the best place to house the new dining hall. However, it is important that a historic school like UMW retains its historical past even with the addition of modern buildings.
That is not to say that a new Campus Center is not a welcome addition to the university. Colleges need to be able to adapt to the times. The student center will add a dining hall and other important facilities that will improve the school. It will offer more flexible food options. The center will not only include a food court, but also a school store, student lounge and places for school clubs to meet. It will also include a carpeted ballroom, an exciting feature, even though a harder surface that is easier to clean would be better for this installment.
The business and psychology departments are going to be relocated, and will be moved into better facilities. These multiple changes are needed for the university and are additions the students can be proud of.
The location being close to Ball Circle also makes it an ideal place for the Student Center. Ball Circle is considered the heart and the soul of the university. We need a building that focuses on student social life. I think it will improve the sense of community that we have at the university.
Overall, the benefits of the new student center outweigh any of financial problems that some may have. Students have to realize that this is for the future the university, and is meant to help improve the college experience.
I think the more opportunities students have for interaction and fun with one another in a comfortable and disarming environment is priceless. The center can improve the school and make the campus a friendlier and more interconnected place to study.