As we await final approval from New York state to begin the Ruth S. HarleyUniversity Center (UC) renovation, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the work of our Faculty Advisory Panels, Student Advisory Panels, and the many other faculty, staff and students who offered their expertise and ideas for the project.

Dear Colleagues,
As we await final approval from New York state to begin the Ruth SHarleyUniversity Center (UCrenovation, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the work of our Faculty Advisory PanelsStudent Advisory Panels, and the many other faculty, staff and students who offered their expertise and ideas for the project.
You’ll see here how their suggestions and input have been implemented in the design.
As a reminder, this project is much more than modernizing a campus building and bringing it up to code. Our University Center will always be a primary hub of academic and University life for our entire community–so it is critical that this renovation embrace learning, academics and University life activities for our entire community. The suggestions brought forward were in that spirit. Thank you!
Although not every suggestion could be adopted, I think you will see that this input has had a substantial impact in making the University Center an exciting center of learning and University life on our campus.
  • Art Gallery: In response to requests, we made the gallery 50 percent larger, with new lighting, independent climate control required for professional gallery space, and a new layout to maximize collections and viewing. We will also be incorporating additional space to host larger shows and exhibitions outside the gallery.
  • Health CenterWe transformed this into a combined Health and Wellness Center, with health services and mental health counseling in a single state-of-the-art center, taking almost the entire third floor.
  • Interfaith Center: This has been expanded to better serve a more diverse community.
  • Lighting and sound issues: In response to input, lighting has been softened for those sensitive to this, and a sound engineer was brought in to help with noise abatement.
  • AccessibilityWe are now replacing the existing back elevator with a more accessible one. A wheelchair lift is also being added to the exterior of the building, so all have direct access to the new patio.
  • Ballroom: Although the footprint has not changed, attention was paid to make this a best-in-class facility for large academic conferences, fundraisers, full faculty meetings, etc. Better acoustics and improved technology and lighting were added.
  • Meeting rooms: In response to requests from both our Faculty AdvisoryPanel and Student Advisory Panel, additional meeting rooms with flexible seating were added to accommodate more meeting room requests. Faculty will have meeting size options with sliding acoustic panels to help with noise abatement. Rooms can be booked in advance online.
  • Amphitheater: This provides new alternative space for faculty to use for class in good weather; we added electrical outlets so that faculty and students can use their devices.
  • Green-building concernsWe have managed to retain quite a lot of the original brick to keep it out of landfills; you will now see it on interior walls as well. Window walls will be a tempered glass selected to reduce overheating in summer. We will be considering recycled and biodegradable materials whenever possible.
Next steps: We will continue reaching out to the Faculty and Student AdvisoryPanels as we begin to look at food service, the bookstore, temporary locations for staff and events, along with other aspects of the renovation.
Your input is changing the course of this historic renovation. Thank you again for your help.
Jim Perrino signature
James Perrino
Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration
Office of Finance and Administration

For further information, please contact:

Todd Wilson
Strategic Communications Director 
p – 516.237.8634
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