It’s a new year, and that means new classes, new friends, and new changes to the Corban campus. The library, bookstore and IT have all gone through major renovations during the summer.
On the outside, Corban’s library looks as though nothing has changed, but inside is a world of transformation. The locations of books, seating areas, and even the front desk have all been moved. There are now two solariums on either side of the building, in which students can find relaxing and quiet areas to tackle their homework. The computer lab is now located upstairs, in two separate rooms with brand-new computers. One of the most accommodating changes is that the passage between the second floor of the library and the main floor of the Academic Center is open. This eliminates the hassle of having to exit the library completely, and go around the building to attend a class in the AC.
Corban’s technology support team has taken over the computer lab’s old turf, and the space has been remodeled with offices for the staff. If a student ever has an IT question, he or she can send an email to email@example.com to set up an appointment to drop off a computer or printer, or have a question answered.
The crammed, hole-in-the-wall bookstore has now expanded. With about double the space it had last year, it means a larger interior to sell merchandise. The biggest changes are the removal of mailboxes and the relocation of the mail area, more floor space for items, and textbooks available on the sales floor instead of behind the counter. Bookstore manager Heather Martin commends IT staff members for all their work during construction this summer.
“They did everything,” Martin said. “They tore down walls, took care of the lighting and electrical, and moved all the merchandise.” They often worked from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., just to make sure the bookstore would be open for the freshmen by the Aug. 24 goal. “It wasn’t ready enough,” Martin said, “but it was acceptable.” Though the bookstore looks presentable to students, the dust hasn’t settled yet, and the staff is still unpacking boxes.
Also during the summer, a vendor from Nike approached Martin about selling its products to smaller schools. Now the bookstore features a small section of athletic gear bearing Corban’s name along with the Nike swoosh.
One change that’s generated controversy is the new mailroom. Over the summer, the university exchanged the wall of self-serve student mailboxes for a behind-the-counter system overseen by a staff member.
Students reacted differently to the transition. Sophomore Jordan Robeson said, “I was a little confused at first. The whole email system threw me off.
However, Junior Grant Garrison favored the change. “It makes checking if you have mail so much easier. I already check my email every day, so now I know if I have to go down to the mail room.
Whether students like it or not, this is a move toward the inevitable change in the future from hard mail to completely electronic, according to Corban’s Provost Matt Lucas. Now, whenever a student gets any mail, a staff member scans it, and the student receives an email alert. To speed up the process and reduce wait times in line, students should have their ID cards ready at the counter when they check their mail.
And what about the dining hall? Construction on the 1,540 square-foot addition has already begun and will be completed by spring semester. The expanded dining space will include 70 more seats in the form of tables and chairs, which is “a lot more flexible for students,” says Steve Hunt, Vice President of Marketing. Hunt says that tables and chairs create more of a community feel than booths.
University administrators had hoped to start the dining hall addition this summer, but Schimmel Hall is 114 years old, which means it has very old construction codes. Hunt explains that it took about five months to come up with a price point for the construction to come up to the old codes. The renovation inside the existing dining hall will take place over Christmas break.
The addition will match the interior decor of the existing dining rooms, and will have windows overlooking the valley. Hunt also designed a rock sculpture similar to the Resurrection Sculpture outside.