Walking on campus this weekend, one of the first things new and returning students will notice is the construction. This year, many building projects such as the Hoover Dining Hall, will be going through construction.
Many students consider the construction to be a burden.
“It’ll take extra time for us to get to our classes,” said sophomore Iness Giramata.
Although inconvenient, Vice President for Finance and Administration Brad Kelsheimer ensures that such construction is necessary to keep a campus in shape.
“It seems pretty significant right now because they’re very visible,” he said.
While the construction can be distracting, Kelsheimer noted that, assuming buildings need renovations about every 50 years, a campus the size of DePauw should undergo substantial projects approximately every 10 years.
“It’s heinous but necessary,” agreed sophomore Billy Burke.
A project completion that many students are looking forward to using is the new gym, the Welch Fitness Center, in the Lilly Center.
“I love the gym,” said junior Aesha Brooks.
“It inspires a new era of fitness,” added Burke.
Kelsheimer said that the expansion to Lilly is both on time and on budget. It focuses primarily on a 36,000 square foot expansion and renovation of existing space.
The prominent project this year, the construction of the Hoover Dining Hall, is happening directly in the center of campus. If the project continues on track, it should take about two years to complete.
The new dining hall will be more equipped to deal with Bon Appetit’ s set up, which was implemented last year. Kelsheimer noted in a meeting on Aug. 19 that the lines for food can be frustrating in the current set up.
Along with the Welch Fitness Center, the athletic fields are also nearing completion. Women’s soccer was able to host a scrimmage on Aug. 20 on the new fields.
The concrete work on the athletic plaza will be complete by Sept. 6, in time for both field hockey and football games to be held that day.
All of the current construction has been funded by donations. As of now, the university is not in debt for any of the projects.
“This shows that all the changes you see around campus have been funded by former students. It’s really heartening,” President Casey said in a meeting with faculty and staff on Aug. 22.
While the administration hopes to continue this pace of construction through completion, it is likely that they will take out a line of credit to deal with cash flow and the timing of gifts.
“It’s important for people to know that we’re not spending financial aid dollars on building buildings,” Kelsheimer said.
The next few years will continue to be a time of transformation for DePauw’s campus. East College lawn will be further renovated, and a Roy O. West Library renovation is in the early planning stages.
Kelsheimer also mentioned in the Aug. 19 meeting that it is possible that there will be new residence halls and duplexes coming in the future.
The role of the Den, the food and convenience store in the basement of Longden Hall, may change with the introduction of the new dining hall, though administration has not yet decided how.
The Hubbard Center renovation will begin in May of next year, and the Union Building will likely house a convenience store someday.
DePauw is in a period of renovation, but the administration and many students are looking forward to the improvements around campus.