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Master Plan Renovations Begin on St. Davids Campus

     With the beginning of the spring semester, members of the Eastern community are seeing many of the plans outlined in Phase I of the Campus Master Plan come to fruition on the St. Davids campus. Many of the proposed changes, which include renovations in Walton Hall, Kea-Guffin Hall and Warner Library, have recently been implemented. Although some of the renovations have already been completed, the actualization of other projects largely depends on funding from donors.

     Renovations in Walton Hall began over the winter break. Upon returning to campus in January, members of the community saw significant changes in the first-floor lobby of Walton, outside of the Jammin’ Java: the glass windows near the entrances of the Jammin’ Java and the commuter lounge were taken out, and the lobby became one large room. Due to concerns about the temperature of the lobby, new double doors are to be put in and a larger area left between the two sets of doors, creating a space similar to that of a vestibule. These doors are expected to be installed at the end of February.

     On the second floor of Walton, the renovations in the lounge outside of the Dining Commons have included the uncovering of the original 1913 hardwood flooring and the fireplace being redone with stonework. Areas on the second floor have also received new paint. Work in the second-floor lounge is ongoing as new, modern furniture is expected to sit outside of the Dining Commons by the end of January.

IMG_5250Russell Risden/ The Waltonian

     The Breezeway in Kea-Guffin Hall was closed for renovations through the winter break and the beginning of the spring semester. The Breezeway reopened on Sunday, Jan. 15, celebrating its grand opening on Thursday, Jan. 19. Other renovations to be completed in Kea-Guffin include a gaming room in the Kea basement.

IMG_5240Russell Risden/ The Waltonian

     Proposed changes to the Warner Library, which is slated to become the Learning Commons, include a snack and beverage kiosk. Bettie Ann Brigham, Vice Provost for Student Development, explains: “There was much diversity of opinion on whether or not the Jammin’ Java (now in Walton Hall) should be closed and a similar type and size, full-service coffee shop be located in the Learning Commons. After conversations with members of the EU community and input from SGA as well as the campus planners, the decision has been made to offer a kiosk in the Learning Commons where coffee and tea as well as packaged snacks will be available for purchase. The Jammin’ Java, with its full specialty coffee options and more elaborate food offerings, will remain in Walton Hall.” The Learning Commons is also planned to house Student Success Advisers, IT staff, library support staff and walk-up and by-appointment writing assistance.

     Future plans for the St. Davids campus include the establishment of a new nursing simulation lab by fall 2018. The simulation lab is expected to move into the space currently occupied by the Curriculum Lab. Additionally, the faculty of the business and leadership department may move their offices from Andrews Hall to the Eagle Learning Center.

     A committee has also been formed to consider plans for expanding the athletic fields and facilities.

     As stated on Derck & Edson’s website, Eastern University’s goal in making these changes is to “further enhance the student life experience on campus through continued facility enhancements.”

     For more details about Phase I of the Campus Master Plan, pick up a copy of Issue 9, in print on Wednesday, Feb. 8.

     Sources: Bettie Ann Brigham, DerckandEdson.com, Steve Sproles

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