Carleton College's student newspaper since 1877

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Reports of Mass Relocation of Campus Offices

<lass="page section layoutArea column" title="Page 1">

In his quarterly meeting on Monday, President Poskanzer announced that plans were nearly finalized for a mass relocation of campus administrative offices. The Office of Intercultural and International Life (OIIL) and the Gender and Sexuality Center (GSC) will both move locations in late winter term, followed by the Admissions Office and the Career Center in late 2017.

In line with Mr. Poskanzer’s Facilities Master Plan, the scheduled movement is primarily an effort to expand the capacity of the Career Center. The project will contain three major phases: the movement of admissions to a renovated Scoville Hall; the movement of the Career Center to Johnson House; and the movement of the GSC and OIIL to Sayles.

The GSC and OIIL will be the most immediately affected. According to plans voted on last week by the Board of Trustees, renovations to Scoville Hall will begin in May 2016. As a result, the GSC and OIIL will need to relocate before spring break of 2016. A location has not yet been identified to house the GSC and OIIL during this construction period.

The renovations to Scoville will create a new welcome area for prospective students. Due to a large increase in visits by prospective students over the last decade, the Admissions staff feels a need for larger meeting areas. Scoville will be converted back into a library-like setting that will welcome students with increased capacity over Johnson house.

Additionally, the renovations to Scoville will allow the Financial Aid Office to move in with Admissions, which will be beneficial to families that desire to meet with financial aid staff earlier in the process. According to Dean of Admissions Paul Thiboutot, the combination of the Financial Aid Office with the Admissions Office will be the right size to fill the large Scoville building that currently is mostly empty.

“The College has been thinking about what to do with [Scoville], looking at it in terms of location, and its size,” said Thiboutot. “I was often asked if that could be used as a reception area, could you do information sessions there, and I said yes, I’ve been saying yes for 28 years.”

In the opinion of Laura Haave, director of the Gender & Sexuality Center, this movement of Admissions to Scoville makes sense in terms of campus layout as well.

“Scoville will be a kind of campus gateway, a place where prospective students and visitors can come it just makes sense for admissions and financial aid to be here. And this is a beautiful historic building,” she said.

Yet, the main reason for the current project is to allow for the expansion of the Career Center, which according to Thiboutot has been cramped for years. The larger Johnson house space will give the Career Center more room to conduct interviews, and will be more visible to employers and visitors that use the Career Center to speak with students.

Still, it is unclear how much renovation to Johnson will be necessary to accommodate the needs of the Career Center.

It is also unclear where the GSC and OIIL will be located in Sayles after the renovations are completed. Indeed, for Ms. Haave, there is a feeling that this project is largely a domino effect. Nevertheless, she feels excited about the movement of the GSC.

“Scoville right now is a little awkward… I think we’ve outgrown this space. We’re the only ones in this building, so it’s kind of lonely, and there’s no reason for students to come here unless they’re seeking out OIIL or the GSC,” she said.

Hence, both OIIL and the GSC expect to benefit from being more centrally located to elements of student life. And, they both hope to maintain their current use by students as a place to meet and study to get tea and do homework. “My first concern is that we still have that energy,” said Haave.

The administration plans to complete the renovations to Scoville by September of 2017. Once this is accomplished, the movement of the GSC and OIIL to Sayles, and the movement of the Career Center to Johnson, will follow.

Of course, with construction, changes are always possible. Yet, when completed, Mr. Thiboutot envisions the restoration of Scoville as an excellent reuse of a historic college space.

“There’s a kind of symmetry in wanting to represent a historical liberal arts college within a building that housed core knowledge, the library. And the symbolic value of that alone is terrific,” he added.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Carletonian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *