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The college's "front porch" is getting a refreshing update

July 7, 2014

Middle College--the first two floors, anyway--serves as the front door to the college for potential students and families. It is the place they report to when they first arrive, meet with counselors, get interviewed, and terminate after campus tours. So when an outside consultant saw the building last fall (especially its single, second-floor, all-comers bathroom), she was a little perplexed. To use her words, the admissions office can feel a bit like an "old library." And the bathroom upstairs? "Completely unacceptable."

While many of us love old libraries, and President Bierman and others have expressed a strange fondness for the communal bathroom line that forms upstairs, the consultant (Render) had a point.

So, on Wednesday some fairly small and mostly low-cost upgrades to the space are underway. The entrance and stairways are getting new carpet and flooring, as is the staircase leading up to the second floor (which is also getting new carpet). The walls, which were also called out for a little refreshing, will also get a new coat of paint in many of these spaces.

Over the month of July, most of this work will be completed. The Institutional Research team (Ellie O'Byrne and Ruth Vater) will also get moved in to what was once the second floor conference room--the better to infuse greater life into the area, among other things.

And about that bathroom. Physical Plant reports that they also have plans to do some small things to make the bathroom more accessible and less "old library." Stay tuned on that.

All of these changes follow other improvements that were inspired by the Render report, including the posting of new Admissions guest parking slots in the Guest House lot, the addition of a sign pointing to Middle College, and the upcoming addition of building signs to all of the south side academic buildings. This work is being funded in large part by last year's Beloiter Fund and Renewing the Historic Core dollars.