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College Center Reorganization, Newly Renovated Macomb Hall Highlight Summer Changes

Office changes and improvements in Angell College Center and the wrap-up on renovations to Macomb Hall, the new residence-hall home to the Educational Opportunity Program and Student Support Services, are among the many changes to campus infrastructure this summer.

The Angell College Center, long the hub of student-support offices like EOP, SSS and student involvement, will have an entirely new blueprint when students return in the fall.

According to Cori Jackson, director of the Center for Student Involvement, the following changes and moves will take place:

• The Center for Student Involvement will move to space most recently occupied by Fraternity and Sorority Life on the first floor across from the new lounge area.
• Fraternity and Sorority Life and Project HELP, overseen by Director Allison Swick-Duttine, will move upstairs into the space most recently occupied by the Student Association.
• The Student Association will move down into the space that had been occupied by the Educational Opportunity Program.
• Student Conduct and Judicial Affairs will move upstairs to the third floor.
• The creation of a multicultural center in the space that previously housed Student Support Services. Both SSS and EOP have moved to temporary summer quarters in Harrington Hall in anticipation of the grand re-opening of Macomb Hall.

Additionally, renovation of the first-floor bathrooms across from the lounge area will begin soon. This will include two gender-neutral single stall bathrooms and two multi-stall rooms labeled “Men” and “Women,” begins at the end of June, Jackson said.

“Work on the other bathrooms in the building may begin in the next phase of the project in January 2019 during winter break,” she said. “The second-floor bathrooms across from Tim Hortons will be made larger, extending into a storage area behind.”

Courtyard Leveled

Another change students will see when they return in the fall will be a leveled courtyard off the back by the Sundowner. Crews will fill in and level where there is now a circular dropdown. Sidewalks will be replaced, and new picnic tables will be placed about the area.

The Educational Opportunity Program and Student Support Services, housed in Harrington Hall during the summer, will move to their new office space in Macomb Hall before the start of classes. Macomb is the most recent residence hall to have been taken offline for a year for renovation.

According to Stephen Matthews, director of housing and resident life, the new Macomb Hall, set to open in time for move-in weekend Aug. 24-26, includes:

• Office and student space for EOP and SSS
• New security doors that will allow SSS and EOP clients access to those areas but not to the residential portion of the building
• New elevator on the outside wall, next to Saranac Hall
• Kitchenette, bathroom and sprinkler-system upgrades
Macomb was the ninth hall to go offline for renovations. Whiteface Hall is next. Offline as of the middle of May, it will undergo upgrades similar to Wilson Hall, which was reopened in Augusts 2017.

“Floors will be equipped with their own kitchenettes, surfaces will be painted, new carpet and tile will be installed and bathrooms will be updated to individual units with showers, sinks and toilets,” Matthews said.

In addition, Whiteface improvements will include:

• New card-access entrance on Rugar Street
• New open stairway access to the basement with recreation and lounge spaces and two public bathrooms
• New resident assistant and housing director work room, private office space and small conference room and new RA office similar to the setup in Wilson Hall
• Renovation and enlargement of the current Housing and Residence Life office space

Unique Features, Other Changes

Unlike Wilson, however, are some features unique to Whiteface that will be addressed, Matthews said. The project will move three residence hall rooms from the second floor and turn them into study rooms. Those rooms had windows that looked out onto the brick wall of Algonquin Dining Hall.

Additionally, the ninth floor will feature a lounge that takes advantage of the unfettered mountain view.

“Students will be able to go up there and take advantage of that beautiful view we all brag about,” Matthews said. “The space could also be used for events and gatherings. We try to look at each building and figure out how we can take advantage of each. This is something we can take advantage of in Whiteface.”

At the same time, College Auxiliary Services will alter its use of Algonquin Dining Hall. The dining hall will no longer offer weekday lunches starting in the fall but will remain available for special ethnic/themed meals. CAS is also identifying other use opportunities for the space with campus departments.

Little Al’s, a take-out eatery adjacent, will remain open.

Upper-Level Housing

The next residence hall to be taken offline after Whiteface will be Kent. Matthews said the college has about 60 percent of the design phase completed for Kent, slated to be offline May 2019. He said the plan for Kent would be to create housing for upper classmen and graduate-level students only.

“There would be double rooms that share a private bath with a living space,” he said. “There would also be air conditioning in the entire building, and the basement, which opens right up onto the River Walk, would become the new Little Al’s dining facility. There would be the opportunity for people from the community to use that dining facility, with outside dining along the Saranac River.

“We’re starting to think about how to make this more attractive to upper-level and grad students,” Matthews said. “We’ve looked at decreasing the level of staffing and instead of programs on how to adjust to college, for instance, provide programming on how to organize your finances, shop for cars, buy a house — programs that would be appropriate for students ending their college careers. They’re in a different place in their lives.”

Whiteface and Kent Hall renovations will bring the count to 10 of the college’s 12 residence halls to have undergone significant changes. After the 10 are complete, the college will assess needs at the two remaining buildings: Adirondack and Banks halls.

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