The University has kept the Adelphi student body in the loop regarding the fact that the Ruth S. Harley University Center (UC), home to administrative offices, student organizations, lounges, and dining and conference facilities, will be undergoing major, state-of-the-art renovations.
(This article originally ran in the October 8, 2018, issue of The Delphian)
The start of the project is now planned for after commencement on May 19, 2019. Moves of offices and changes in services and facilities will be announced beforehand.
The University has kept the Adelphi student body in the loop regarding the fact that the Ruth S. Harley University Center (UC), home to administrative offices, student organizations, lounges, and dining and conference facilities, will be undergoing major, state-of-the-art renovations. Construction is slated to begin as early as December, according to James Perrino, Adelphi’s executive vice president of finance and administration, with an expected completion a year later. The renovation will benefit students living on campus as well as commuters and will also serve as a draw for prospective students and alumni.
“We’re all excited about the fact that it’s [the project] progressing through rather nicely,” Perrino said. “We filed our first series of permits with the village [of Garden City] in July so we’re almost through the permit process. We were hoping to break ground by early December.”
Perrino said construction should take around 12 months. “Part of that is purely exterior and then we flip into the interior,” he said.
The plans include expanding the art gallery on the first floor, as well the Interfaith Center. More meeting rooms will be added. Lighting, sound and acoustics will be improved throughout the building. Accessibility will also expand with a wheelchair lift on the exterior of the building for direct access to the new patio. The project will also incorporate green-building concerns, such as a tempered glass selected to reduce overheating in summer. The entire UC is also getting a bold exterior update, with a sleek glass look.
The renovation is a welcome one. “It’s a 1972 building that is close to outliving its usefulness in 2018, but with a creative renovation, it will service Adelphi and its students for many decades to come,” said Todd Wilson, Adelphi’s strategic communications director.
In the meantime, since the building is a hub for social interaction and dining, many students are wondering how their access to the UC will be impacted by the construction.
“The UC will remain open and fully functional throughout all of the fall semester,” Perrino said. “Depending on when we get our permits, we will probably shut down the UC in February and hopefully open it up again in December 2019.”
Students need not fret about missing out on the experience the UC usually gives them while it is open.
“We’ve got a number of teams working on transition plans; there are several plans being developed,” Perrino said. “The events that are going on in the UC—clubs, conferences, renting our ballroom—we’re going to have to look at whether we can accommodate these in other locations. We believe we can accommodate the majority of those student-related functions.”
Perrino said that all clubs will continue to have meeting spaces, which can include Alumni House, the Nexus Building and the Performing Arts Center, as well as continued and perhaps more dedicated use of the Center for Recreation and Sports’ Campbell Lounge, where many clubs currently hold the occasional meeting.
As for students who have come to depend on the UC as a primary food source, Perrino stressed a plan for this as well.
“We are working with Chartwells, who is the food vendor, to evaluate how we serve all the meals that we’re currently serving in the UC at other venues and other mechanisms.”
There have been suggestions to expand certain venues, which could potentially include the Center for Recreation and Sports’ Melt Shop, the Performing Arts Center’s PACafé and something in Swirbul Library.
Food trucks will also be explored, as Perrino said this seems to be an option that a lot of students enjoy, and could hopefully include halal, Mexican and Asian cuisine. But he added that a dining venue that many students don’t take full advantage of already sits in full operation on campus.
“Post Hall is underutilized,” Perrino said. “We’re thinking of what to do there to move some of the traffic.”
Perrino said that he will continue to update the entire community about where UC services can be obtained during the renovation, including alternate locations for all services currently housed in the UC.
“Please be assured that we are planning ahead to minimize disruption,” he said. “Once construction begins, we will share more details on the UC Progress website.”
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