Asbury projects building projects for the future
By John Scarboro
Many different phases are underway for the growth of Asbury’s campus in the coming years. As the student population rises, the question of more housing continues to push forward. Asbury already has a plan to answer that question.
Asbury president Dr. Sandra Gray said, “We actually have a new dorm on the drawing board, and, for the most part, it is completely designed.” The new dorm will be located on the grassy area by Al- dersgate and Kresge to make a quad.
Joe Bruner, Associate Dean of Residence Life, explained that the dorm will be an “L” shape with a separate square-like building next to it. He also explained that there will be a third-floor lobby con- necting the buildings, a covered patio with outdoor furniture similar to the student center deck and concrete in a design similar to the Jewell Street Project. The dorm is still in production due to financ- ing and making sure that Asbury’s growth is continuous and sustainable.
“Enrollment growth [for] one or two years doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to last, so [we] need to make sure it’s a sustainable growth,” Gray said. At this point, the dorm is planned to be both a male and female dorm; however, a locked lobby will separate the male and female part. The dorm will have Kresge-like suites with hallways instead of units. It will also have a study area and kitchenette for the residents.
The next big project is still being developed. According to Gray, this will be the STEM² building, which will be “a collaborative learning center that will house business, science and math.”
The individual programs will be located in the same building but will remain separate. They will be co-located to encourage “interdisciplinary conversation and [develop] cross-disciplinary pro- grams,” said Gray. However, these are not the only plans that Asbury has. The Campus Post Office (CPO) and book- store will be relocating, perhaps as soon as next summer.
The CPO and bookstore will temporarily be moved to the first floor of Hamann-Ray. One vision for permanently relocating the CPO and bookstore is to place them in the basement of the student center; however, the student center needs extensive renovation and fit-up.
Bruner explained that the building code merely means sprinkler systems and other safety features.
“We are working on a proposal for [the basement of the student center] and getting donors,” he said.
A rumor about a new science building has been floating around for quite some time; Bruner said that the future of Hamann-Ray is still uncertain, but he does not anticipate that it will be torn down. They still plan to build a new science building somewhere on campus, however. The administration is also planning to add lights to Jewell Walk. Gray said, “In the initial phase of the project, we did not add lights because it was not within the budget. We now have the funding and are ready to add lighting along the walkway.”
Another addition in the works is that of a lacrosse team. The athletic department has already hired two new coaches for men and women’s lacrosse and has also started recruiting for next year. They do not plan to add any other sports at the time and are placing the growth of sports on hold until they can provide for the amount of current athletes at Asbury.
The Luce Center also hopes to expand in the future, because the increase of athletes has affected locker space and other things needed for the athletes. Griffin Tate, a baseball player, said that the Luce “is already crowded as it is, and they limit the amount of time student athletes can be in the weight room.” He also thinks that enlarging the weight room or extending hours would make it more produc- tive. Student yoga teacher Sam Hulmes said, “We have problems a lot of times with our room being taken, or we are conflicting with someone else who needs room.” Hughes Auditorium is also expecting an update. A future addition is “to bring it forward to the 21st century,” as Bruner said. They plan to upgrade the visual and audio aspects in order to stream live chapels and high quality video, among other things.
Asbury has a plan for the future, even though many of the students who are currently attend- ing will have graduated by the time some of these new buildings are implemented on campus. These plans are exciting, although they are still in production, and it will be years until some of them are implemented on campus. At this point, Asbury is trying to go deeper and commit to excellence in the projects they already have underway.