This summer, Manhattanville kept busy with improvements and changes around campus. Some are obvious and affect the students on a daily basis, whereas others are not as well known. Either way, the changes implemented around campus are important to recognize and students have a lot to say.
After recently speaking with the Vice President of the Planning and Facilities department, Greg Palmer, about the various changes on campus, he mentioned the various changes that occurred in the dorm buildings.
In Founders Hall, a new floor was put in replacing the old asbestos flooring. In Dammann and Tenney, twenty new showers were replaced, and maintenance hopes to replace twenty more each summer moving forward until every shower is replaced. In Spellman Hall, A new roof was installed. Additionally, in Spellman, each room now has an accent wall to add life and color.
Upon asking freshmen how they feel about the accent walls in their new home away from home, overall the responses have been very position.
“I love them. They bring the room to life and they happened to match my bedding,” freshman Izzy Mercaldo said.
Another freshman, Juan Andover, believes, “The rooms are life changing. It doesn’t feel like I’m in a prison.”
Barat Hall, located next to the chapel in the rear of Benziger, which was previously a residential building, is going through interior renovations intended to be handed over Manhattanville’s Graduate Master in Fine Arts writing program within the next few semesters.
Manha anville is also in the midst of replacing the interior lighting throughout the campus, which in turn is reducing the campuses carbon footprint by 35%. Palmer stated that we pro- duced 7,800 tons of carbon last year alone and that we are expected to produce only 5,000 tons of carbon this year from simply changing the lighting.
In addition to the change of lightbulbs, the College will be adding in electric carports. These will hopefully be added in October of the Fall 2016 semester. The ports are intended to be added in front of Benziger Hall, the Berman Student Center, and behind Dammann Hall. Upon doing so, it is expected that it should save 20% on our electric use.
Manha anville also repaved the parking lots behind Kennedy Gymnasium, the rear gate behind faculty housing, and the lot near Benziger and Berman. The College also put a base coat down behind Tenney and Dammann Halls.
Former First Lady of the College, Jean Strauss, and various students working to help the accessibility around campus, implicated that have speed bumps should be placed around campus in an effort to slow down the drivers through the parking lots and roadways.
Additionally, Brownson Hall experienced some changes as well. Manhattanville truly went the extra distance to make the learning community in the best shape possible, transforming almost all of the classrooms into smart classrooms.
Palmer stated that 90% of the classrooms on campus are now considered ‘smart classrooms.’ In the Biology and Chemistry department, a ‘make-up air unit’ is in the midst of being built to help add more air into the building that the lack of windows and fume hoods restrict. These changes should be completed within the next month.
In the Berman Student Center, the theater is in the midst of being renovated to make it more user friendly. So far, the floors have been re- done, seats have been refurbished, new shades have been added, and the lighting and sound system(s) have been revamped.
With all the changes that occurred this summer, students may be wondering where the funds came from. Palmer explained that the College takes from some of the saving accounts as well as the indirect tuition costs that we pay. He stated that the Chapel, which is in the midst of ge ing a be er sound system, was left a sum of money by an alumnus that speci cally wanted the chapel to redone.
At the end of each spring semester, there is a cabinet-style discussion about what changes should be made over the summer. There is a budget for academics, IT, and facilities that are given out for necessary renovations. The board then asks for the input from each department to find out what changes need to be made and whether or not some changes are more necessary than others.
Overall, the feedback from faculty and students have been positive and according to cha er, the campus has not looked this good in years.
Palmer even said that he’s satisfied with the outcome.
“I think the area really needed to be improved on, especially the walk ways,” Palmer said.
The school made strides this year on looking its best and as a community, the College can’t wait to see what changes winter break has in store.