By Gianluca D’Elia
Upon arriving to campus this semester, returning Broncs will notice some changes have been made while they were away, most notably to Starbucks, the Student Recreation Center (SRC) and three residence halls: Gee, Ziegler and Hill.
Mike Reca, vice president of facilities and university operations, said the renovations will likely attract more students to live on campus.
“The intent of these renovations is to enhance the student experience outside the classroom and provide better amenities for them to live on campus,” he said.
The Starbucks’ renovation, which is required by the Starbucks franchise every eight to 10 years, expanded the size of the coffee shop and upgraded the equipment to allow for new menu items.
Regarding the new changes to the campus Starbucks, Reca said, “This project was a partnership with the university, Aramark and Starbucks to not only install a new facade and equipment, but we expanded the area and menu to serve hot sandwiches.”
At the same time, the university took the opportunity to install new carpeting in the entire SRC lobby and the Rider Athletics Hall of Fame area and added new furniture, Reca said.
Meanwhile, Gee Hall was upgraded with new bathroom fixtures, showers, toilets, flooring and lighting. The hallways now have new carpeting on each floor, stairway flooring improvements, lighting and paint.
Each dorm room received new furniture, paint, lighting and flooring along with an electrical upgrade to support more devices as well as heating and air conditioning units that are individually climate controlled via wireless thermostats.
In Ziegler and Hill, facilities upgraded the power capacity in each room for students to be able to use more devices simultaneously.
“In addition, we added window air conditioners to help with the climate control of each room,” said Reca.
Senior neuroscience major Jennifer Londregan lived in Hill last year and said the renovation was much needed.
“The rooms can get very hot, especially in the beginning of the fall semester and end of the spring,” she said. “I’m glad future residents won’t have to sweat as much during that time.”
With Gee Hall reopening this semester, even more residence hall renovations are coming in the future, Reca said.
“We are entering into the facilities master planning process now that the university Strategic Plan is complete,” he said. “That document, when finished in February, will provide an outline for us to follow in renovating our current housing and evaluating the possibility of new housing. Currently in the short term, we intend to renovate Wright Hall with the same upgrades that Gee Hall received.”
Wright Hall will be closed this academic year.