When Samantha Ralph left Castleton in spring, she had a view from her window that most students would enjoy: tennis courts, a parking lot, and a glimpse of Spartan Stadium.
Upon returning to Wheeler Hall this year, the senior business major has quite a different view. A concrete foundation now lies where the tennis courts once were. Twenty-three tall, grey beams ascend towards the sky. Orange cones are dispersed throughout the area and cranes sit while the men in florescent yellow shirts are not hard at work.
Project 2012 is underway.
The college announced its plans to begin construction early last year for the $13 million project. The proposal includes New Hall, a 162- bed residence hall with a green pavilion attached to it where various campus activities could be held. Also included in the plan was a new Facilities Barn to replace the Physical Plant building.
Crews have been working throughout the summer, but how realistic is the fall 2012 deadline?
Scott Dikeman, Castleton’s dean of administration, assures students that the project is right on track.
“At this point we’re on time and on budget. New Hall is on track and the facilities barn is coming along nicely,” Dikeman said.
Despite finding ledge in the ground where the digging was being done and tropical storm Irene moving through the area, he insists that the hall will be open in June of next year.
“We’re right where we’re supposed to be,” he said.
Some students have differing opinions on the latest project. Senior Marisse Lorenz is more concerned about Huden Dining Hall than more dorm space and a pavilion.
“There’s just not enough room for everybody to eat some days,” said Lorenz last September.
Despite the new areas forming on campus, Huden is still at the top of some students’ list of what they would like to see improved.
But Dikeman isn’t the only person on campus who is excited about the advancements of the project. Senior Gabrielle Tamasi noted the benefits the project is bringing to housing.
“People aren’t going to have to live in the Ramada or triples anymore hopefully. The location is going to be great for watching games. I’m just jealous I won’t get to graduate in the pavilion!” she said.
President Dave Wolk discussed the progress at convocation during his State of the College address on Sept. 1. The facilities staff will be moving into their new home later this season and the old Physical Plant will be demolished at the end of the fall sports season, he assured.
So what’s next for Project 2012?
“We’re right on track. In spring we’ll begin work on getting the site ready for the new pavilion,” Dikeman said excitedly.