By Julia Ernst
Returning Rider students came back to a university that underwent a summer of construction, with the most intensive set of projects and renovations since the building of the Student Recreation Center and the Zeigler/New Building residence halls over the summer of 2006.
One of the major construction projects that took place over the summer was the renovation of Daly’s Dining Hall. Dean of Students Anthony Campbell explained that the interior was re-carpeted, the entranceway was redone and the outside patio is being enclosed.
“The entranceway will be ready for the fall opening,” Campbell said. “The rest of Daly’s will be ready by late September.”
Another large-scale project that began was the construction of the West Village apartments, which are being built behind Maurer Gym. When completed, the apartments will consist of two buildings and 152 new beds for on-campus housing.
Campbell said the projects that took place were successful and mentioned specifically the start of the apartments.
“I think the construction went very, very well,” Campbell said.
Referring to the new residence halls, he added, “We’re on target for the May of 2009 completion.”
Parking was a large construction project that didn’t fully go as expected, said Campbell.
“The permit process slowed down our starting on the parking lots,” he explained. “The new lot behind the soccer field will not be ready until the second semester, but until then, we can keep the gravel lot behind Daly’s.”
In addition to the new parking lots, several on-campus roadways were repaved, including the South Entrance to the university.
Mike Reca, associate vice president for Facilities and Auxiliary Services, provided details on other construction projects that took place over the summer break.
“We renovated multiple classrooms and faculty offices,” Reca said. “Gee Hall and Wright Hall received upgrades in carpet, paint, flooring and plumbing fixtures and the conversion of the locking system in the residence halls was completed.”
Campbell mentioned even more changes to the campus over the summer, including the reconstruction of the Rider seal in front of Moore Library and the opening of the new Center for International Studies and the new Student Resource Center for the fall semester.
Construction also took place at Westminster.
“We installed sod and irrigation in the Williamson Quad, installed a new boiler in Seabrook hall, replaced various walkways and roadways on campus and installed a new fire main for Williamson Hall sprinklers,” Reca said.
Returning junior Danielle Gizzo, who was on campus for both summer sessions, said that she noticed progress with all of the construction throughout the summer.
“From the pavement of the South Entrance, the facelift to Daly’s, the addition of the new International Studies Center, the start of construction on West Village, and the new sidewalks in front of Alumni Gym and the SRC, the University has accomplished quite a bit in a short few months,” Gizzo said.
Reca agreed. “I feel that all the scheduled projects and goals were met, and in some cases, exceeded,” he said. “There is a strong commitment from President Rozanski to keep moving forward.”