Column: Galileo’s Pavilion construction poorly-timed, nearly insulting


College yet again demonstrates mixed priorities, indulgence with approval of new building

By Rachel Kimbrough

At the Nov. 17 Board of Trustees meeting, the college again demonstrated its inability to withhold from epicurean feathers-in-cap with the approval of Galileo’s Pavilion.

The structure will feature a whopping two classrooms and one student lounge area, as well as a bunch of legitimately cool stuff like solar panels, solar insulation and maybe a wind turbine and so on. It’ll cost $700,000 altogether and is expected to pay for itself within three and a half years. Construction efforts have already begun.

The timing of the approval of this building, however, is so poor it’s almost insulting. It’s like a slap in the face to the eleven people who became the college’s first-ever laid off employees last semester.

The decision to construct this building right now instead of, say, three years from now is entirely unjustifiable. There is not an immediate need for two more classrooms. We’re not pressed for one more student lounge area. The sustainability features that come with it are cool, but we don’t need them right now, at this very moment.

If you don’t understand what I mean, walk through the first floor of OCB and check out the area where the award-winning culinary academy is supposed to make magic happen. Those folks need—and deserve—a more functional work space. The evidence of that need is tangible. The forthcoming culinary academy building is justifiable.

No, for most students, this building will in reality serve as a $700,000 pit stop, a refuge from the cold during the walk from the main campus area to the parking garage.

The real purpose of this building is an ego-boost for the college. And that’s true whether it’s being built right now or a few years from now. It’s an appeal to novelty, a “Look what we have that you don’t!” type thing.

It’d be the same as constructing a building shaped like a narwhal with two classrooms whose walls were painted like the creature’s innards, and whose tusk shot lightning bolts. No other school has that! We must be a college prospective students should attend!

The building’s inherent comparative uselessness coupled with the acutely irresponsible timing of its construction demonstrate the college’s tendency toward self-indulgence, disregard for budget priorities and ultimate disconnection from the Everyman on campus. This decision can only look like a good one to a group of people set upon a pedestal of isolation, gauging the needs of its denizens from miles and miles above.

Contact Rachel Kimbrough, editor-in-chief, at


  1. I don’t think it is accurate to describe The College as having “mixed priorities.” Clearly if it is bricks and mortor, or glitzy, they like it. New permanent faculty; not so much.

    Sixty million surplus dollars of cash in the bank earning .1% interest – super. Pay off bonds costing 3% or more – not good.

    If the college is interested in energy efficiency, see if they can find someone to turn off the power to several rooms full of computers that run day and night.

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