What’s new at SHU?
Amanda Boyer/Photography Editor
If you are an upperclassmen coming back for another year at Seton Hall, you may be surprised by how quickly the campus has changed.
Aquinas Hall, the parking deck and the Academic Building, formerly called Stafford Hall, have all undergone some hefty construction.
The entire five-part construction process, which included the remodeling of academic buildings, dormitories, transportation, the recreational building and administrative spaces, cost Seton Hall $63 million, according to a press release sent out by the Associate Director of Media Relations, Margaret McCorry, of Seton Hall Public Relations and Marketing. It also states the new Academic Building alone received $7.5 million in state funding.
Aquinas Hall cost $26.2 million and includes a new fourth floor, new lobby, renovated bedrooms and bathrooms, new furniture and carpeting, new paint, glass-enclosed study areas and more large windows on the fourth floor than on lower ones, according to the press release.
It stated that Aquinas has been upgraded to be handicap-accessible. The dormitory added an elevator and 64 two-student rooms plus 18 ADA-accessible ones.
Since the University was founded in 1856, many buildings were not built to be handicap accessible, but Dr. Tracy H. Gottlieb, Vice President of Student Services, said making them accessible is a top priority for Seton Hall. “It is a vital thing to us,” she said.
The $12.5 million Academic Building features 12 new classrooms, including two classrooms that can hold 50 students, nine that hold 35 and one that holds 25. It has been made ADA accessible, as well, according to the Seton Hall press release.
From her own experience having worked in the windowless basement of Fahy Hall, Dr. Gottlieb said that the windows in the new Academic Building are “more precious than gold.
The press release said that construction of the Academic Building was funded with $6.3 million from the Building Our Future Bond Act and $1.2 million from the Higher Education Facilities Trust Fund.
An original cornerstone, recovered from the building’s demolition, has been placed on display in the lobby.
The parking deck is the last, but not least, big change on campus, costing $12.6 million and adding 594 spaces, according to the press release. Garage elevators were renovated to accommodate a stretcher, in accordance with new safety guidelines.
“This time last year, the biggest problem was parking,” Dr. Gottlieb said. This year she has not received one complaint about it.
The University Center was the other big construction project the Seton Hall community had been buzzing about, but Dr. Gottlieb said decisions have not been made for that project yet. She said there will be a meeting with officials at the highest levels concerning this project, but it has not happened yet, so there is no start date or plan.
“I don’t know what’s next, I just think everyone would like to have breathing room from construction,” Dr. Gottlieb said.
She added this is a “land-challenged” University, making it difficult and expensive to put up any new building, but it will be especially so for one as large and central as the university center.
The Fitness Center, completed last year, was among the five-part project and cost $10 million. Over the summer, the University also purchased a small office building at 519 South Orange Ave for $1.5 million. The Public Relations and Marketing team is now located there.
Lindsay Rittenhouse can be reached at email@example.com.