Building a better Bucknell


Allegra Gold, Staff Writer

The physical layout of the campus is constantly changing due to building and design renovations, which are implemented with the intent of improving the quality of campus living. Facilities often works on large-scale building projects, but also on smaller, equally essential ventures as well. The department does work that ultimately enriches the University in terms of aesthetics, sustainability, and lifestyle. Ken Ogawa, Associate Vice President for Facilities, outlined both completed and planned facilities projects on campus.

Major construction projects

Last summer, the facilities and construction teams did an outstanding job of fully renovating two affinity houses – the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity house, which is now in full swing, as well as a house for the ingenuity engineering affinity group. Additionally, construction has started on the former Delta Upsilon house, which, according to Ogawa, will become the new humanities center by this spring and be named Hildreth-Mirza Hall. This is an exciting addition, as Hildreth-Mirza will feature a 100-foot-tall ceiling and a study space that includes a hearth room. The building will also serve as a social lounge and consist of a lecture room that can hold up to 100 people.

“Extra study spaces are always great, because during finals week the library and Academic West get really overcrowded. As a Residential Advisor, my residents do not have a common room, and many other resident buildings also lack a common room. Hildreth-Mizra Hall is a great addition to campus study space,” Kyle Shtern ’19 said.

Major upgrades are being made to the athletic component of campus as well. Bleachers and press boxes, fully funded by generous donors, are being added to the baseball and softball fields. They are scheduled to be completed before winter break, just in time for the upcoming spring season.

Smaller campus improvements:

On a smaller scale, the facilities team works hard to make minor changes that improve the overall campus experience. Improvements in temperature and air control are underway in first-year dorm buildings Smith and Swartz. Additionally, five mods have been fully renovated; these renovations include the installment of new air conditioning units and the refurbishment of the units’ bathrooms.

“They’re much more vibrant and practical in my opinion. I’m really happy with the way they redid the closets so that they allow for a more efficient use of space.” Lucy Herring ’19 said.

Furthermore, a brand new kosher kitchen was installed in the Berelson Center, a downtown house that hosts campus Jewish life.

Look out for…

There has been lots of talk on campus about plans for Academic East, a brand new academic building that Ogawa revealed is in its final stage of design. This will be a beautiful, state of the art addition to our incredible campus. The facilities team has already created a virtual reality blueprint for Academic East, which will be available for viewing in the Elaine Langone Center during family weekend.

Sustainability on campus

The University has hired a new staff member to oversee sustainability on campus. She has been working hard to kickstart a student eco-rep program, which is designed to help enlighten students about energy conservation and other sustainability matters. Currently, the program has two paid student interns. Eco-rep will work to plan events and spread the word to other students regarding how we can individually and collectively behave in a more sustainable fashion.

‘Ray Bucknell!

A press release is scheduled to come out this week stating that the University has achieved a Performance Excellence in Electrical Renewal certification. This is a remarkable accomplishment that speaks to the fact that our electric system is both sustainable and efficient. The University is the fourth establishment in the world to gain this certification.

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