New Sheen to Campus

Workers atop the walkway. - photo by Kory Vergets

Workers atop the walkway. – photo by Kory Vergets

Gin Dumcius

Students returning from summer vacation for another semester will notice a new feel and sheen to the school, with the campus center nearly complete and small improvements being made around campus.

Television sets now cling to the walls in various parts of the buildings, placed where students would wait in line or hang out. The televisions are part of a campus-wide effort to improve communication with the students, something that has been one of Chancellor Jo Ann Gora’s main goals since she first arrived, along with making the campus warmer and friendlier, says Vice Chancellor of Administration and Finance David MacKenzie.

Headline news ticked across the screen when the televisions weren’t being tested to broadcast information such as Opening Week festivities.

Pictures of staff, students, faculty, and administrators now line the corridors of McCormack Hall, many of them taken by university photographer Harry Brett. In one, Chancellor Gora plants a flower with a small child. In another, students can be seen being helped out by teachers, and in another, a Casa Latina member is proudly holding up a flag.

The campus is seeing a little more green, thanks to Jim Allen, manager of the greenhouse atop the Science Building. Potted plants sit by picnic tables in the plazas between buildings.

Small sections of cracked tiles have been cordoned off to be fixed.

Most noticeable, however, is the close-to-complete Campus Center, sandwiched between the Science and Wheatley buildings, and facing Dorchester Bay. The Campus Center is eighty-seven percent complete, according to MacKenzie, and on-budget and on-time. Construction of the $75 million dollar Campus Center began in June of 2001. It’s expected to be one-stop-shopping for all, with the registrar, bursar, and the bookstore all together. Student organizations are to be housed as well, and plans are being made to move into the building in the next six months. Buses that currently drop off students by the Quinn Administration building will be re-directed to the Campus Center, billed as the new gateway to UMass Boston.