A gravel filled wasteland, some may say that the courtyard between the 100 and 500 buildings is a bit of an eyesore. With the temporary portable buildings gone, what is the plan for the now empty lot?
In January, the Board of Trustees approved a $27.4 million budget for a new academic building. Although this building project won’t be put into effect for the next two to three years, plans are being made.
“This really rose to the top as the most needed project,” Director of Facilities Douglas Horner said.
The original plan was to install grass, a path or some sort of greenery until the project began, but this was discarded due to financial issues. Had that original plan been implemented, they would be throwing money into putting in grass or any other feature, only to tear it up when construction begins. So until further notice, the gravel will remain.
The master plan of the school calls for two new buildings to replace some of the older ones. These facilities will be the new 100 and 300 buildings. Since the 1600 building was finished, the 100 building, which was previously used for admissions, has become unnecessary and is now nothing more than a storage unit, altogether left unused. While the 200 building classrooms continue to be used, they are old and decrepit and will also be replaced.
With the current student population, the school does not have enough classrooms to accommodate the number of people currently attending. With the new buildings, the classroom count will go from four to an estimated 10 to 15 brand new rooms.
Although more and more people are enrolling every semester, the addition of these new rooms will lessen the pressure on students trying to get into classes. This could mean less time on the waitlist, and more assurance of actually getting into the class.
But when construction to replace old rooms is in progress, the school could lose the use of said rooms. Could this possibly be the return of the portables, but as classrooms this time? Since this is only one fix to the problem, it is not a final decision, but merely an option.
Like in the construction of building 1600, these new buildings are near the edge of the campus and should cause minimal disruption to the student body. Also, as in the last construction process, the project may bleed out to the parking lot. What with trucks and storage needed, the problem seems inevitable.
Keep in mind that this production is all in the distant future. It is unclear what will become of this spot before the building starts.