Rider has been taking the necessary steps to make the Lawrenceville campus more appealing to prospective and current students. The projected renovations announced by the university are important to its future success. I commend the school for spending the time, effort and money that will sustain Rider’s legacy for years to come.
Construction vehicles have been no stranger to campus since the electrical and physical upgrades to residence halls started last summer. Gee Hall received a complete interior makeover with sharper-looking bathrooms and dorms to accommodate 124 students. Hill and Ziegler received all new air conditioning units, and Ridge House and Wright Hall will open back up in fall 2018 with completely new looks, according to Mike Reca, the vice president of facilities and university operations. An enhancement to these outdated residence halls is just what Rider needs to get more applications and be more competitive among other institutions of higher education.
Improving dorm rooms is a particular goal that Rider should focus on because compared to other colleges, Rider’s living spaces may seem old-fashioned and it is great that our school has realized this. Renovating these buildings may attract more students and reduce the number of those choosing to live off campus, bringing in more revenue.
It was revealed last month that Rider will be keeping up on the Lawrenceville improvements continuing into this summer. According to Reca, most of the projects will be funded by $38.75 million of bond proceeds.
Rider is not only focused on improving where students live, but also on where they learn. Having updated technology and learning systems will keep students up-to-date with their fields and more prepared for their career paths. Sweigart Hall, for example, is undergoing construction that will add a Wall Street-themed classroom. The science labs are also being renovated to give students more advanced opportunities for research projects. The Science building is a two-year process, but definitely worth that wait for what is in store for future students.
The landscaping of the Campus Mall will be more vibrant, as wilting trees and shrubbery are replaced with more eye-catching colors for those coming through the north entrance.
The Bart Luedeke Center (BLC) is another building due for a facelift, as it is one of the most visited buildings on campus. The obsolete design of the BLC entrance will be completely redone, with leveled concrete out front and interior being moved around for convenience. The demolition process is set to begin on May 14.
With all of these new improvements in mind, what else can Rider do to boost morale on campus?
Something that has been rumored to be in the works is a college town similar to that of the school down the road, TCNJ. With the acres of land that Rider may acquire, a campus town with more dining options and other amenities could be another way for Rider to increase application flow and attract a more noticeable presence on campus during the week.
Having a campus town would bring a greater sense of community to Lawrenceville, allow for more on-campus jobs for students, and now that Rider is an open campus, there would be more attention gained from the public.
As Rider continues to move forward with future renovation projects, students will be more intrigued to learn about our campus. Alumni will want to come back to Rider and be proud of the changes made to their alma mater. Because so many other schools around the country are making such advancements to their communities, it is essential that Rider follows along that path to make us eligible competitors when the applications start rolling in.
The weekly editorial expresses the majority opinion of The Rider News. This week’s editorial was written by the opinion editor, Hayley Fahey.