Renovations and upgrades during summer 2019

Franzen Center for Academic Success largest renovation project during summer 2019


By Ali Hamza


Photo courtosey of Ali Hamza

The Franzen Center under construction. Photo credit: Ali Hamza.

A series of renovation projects were started over the summer to improve students’ experience this fall.

Dr. Andrea Young, vice president for finance and director of strategic initiatives, reflected on the renovation projects.

“The largest renovation this summer is the construction of the new Franzen Center for Academic Success in the back of the first floor of Lane Library.  This exciting new space features state of the art collaboration spaces, technology-enhanced study areas, and will house all of our tutoring programs,” she said. “Additionally, a new active learning classroom has been built in Farr Hall. Farr 122 will provide a student-centered experience for science students and will allow seamless integration between lectures and labs. Finally, Benstead Theatre has received a significant facelift, including new lighting, paint, carpeting, and seating.”

“The main floor of the library was renovated to provide a comprehensive tutoring and group study space,” said Andrew Prellwitz chair of Lane Library and associate librarian.

All the renovations and upgrades will create an interactive and collaborative learning environment. Also, the changes aim to give students extra opportunities to enhance their skills and future.

“All three projects continue the momentum over the past few years in which the college is investing in infrastructure that will improve the student experience. We have chosen to invest in spaces that intentionally connect to the curriculum, including direct connections to Catalyst, and that students, faculty, and staff can be proud of,” Young said.

Besides improving the resources available to students in various aspects, the renovations will benefit students in other ways.

“Students will be able to come to one place to get tutoring or help in any academic subject. It will be a one-stop-shop, where you can get research help from librarians, work with a writing tutor on a paper, have a presentation critiqued and get help for your physics course,” Prellwitz said.

Both Young and Prellwitz had advice for students regarding the renovations.

“Use it! Librarians and tutors are here to help you become the best version of yourself. Nothing makes librarians happier than helping students with research” Prellwitz said.

“My advice is for students to go visit these new spaces!  Take your laptops and books over to the Franzen Center and just study or hang out. Peek your head in Farr 122, or better yet, register for a Physics class so you can experience it firsthand. Audition for a performance in Benstead or goes see your classmates perform in the fall,” Young said.