Last October, the Board of Trustees approved a plan that would relocate the college’s five academic resource centers to the first floor of LIB. The centers will combine to be more convenient for students to use.
The central idea for combining the centers is to provide a more efficient location for students to receive the help they need. Mickey McCloud, Vice President of Academic Affairs, said the five resource centers will continue to follow their respective procedures.
“They will all be located in one central hub so that a student trying to navigate campus can be directed to one area as opposed to currently, five separate areas on campus, which can get a little confusing,” McCloud said. “You will no longer have to travel between places. You will be able to be handed off to another tutor in that other [resource] area.”
Combining the centers will provide students with the benefit of traveling to one location for the academic help they need. McCloud said having the staff of all the resource centers working close together one location can be beneficial as well.
“I think our learning centers have built great relationships with the faculty,” McCloud said. “Having them all working together and seeing what works in the other learning centers will mean the strengths of one learning center can become the strengths of all the learning centers. That connection of them being in one department where they talk to each about what they are doing is really going to benefit the students.”
The directors of the centers are currently in the conversational phase in regard to construction. They are discussing what accommodations and space their respective center will need when the relocation occurs.
“We are in discussion about it right now,” said Kathryn Byrne, director of the Writing Center. “What we do in each center is different and it’s a different landscape for what we need.”
The materials each center uses differs from textbooks to computers. Byrne said the Writing Center’s main utensil is their computers which could determine the additional space they need.
“My students, their tool was a computer, laptop, surface pro or some device is going to be there,” Byrne said. “It is bigger than a piece of paper and it is usually bigger than a textbook. It takes a lot more real estate.”
Suneetha Menon, director of the Science Resource Center, plans to make changes and additions to their space after they relocate to the library.
“[The Science Resource Center] will be making more changes,” Menon said. “We will we have more quiet rooms and more open area. We’ll have a more designated area for online tutoring as well.”
The design process is set to begin in January and the construction phase is estimated to begin next summer. If construction runs smoothly, the combined resource centers will be complete within eight months.
“[The design team] is not slated to come in to start doing drawings and blueprints until January,” McCloud said. “We should probably have all of the designs done just after mid-term of next spring. We will be starting construction … currently, I think it’s slated for late next summer. It’s been slated for us to be able to have construction done in about an eight month window, but you never know what may come up because of the age of the building.”
The Math and Science Resource Centers are currently located in CLB. The Writing and Language Resource Centers are located in LIB. The Academic Achievement Center is located in OCB. More information on the resource centers can be found here.
More information about the Facilities Master Plan the board voted on can be found here.