SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — In an effort to provide greater accessibility to the general public, better customer service and an enhanced sense of community on campus, Wittenberg University’s department of police/security will soon relocate to the Recitation Hall Annex in the area currently occupied by the Office of Human Resources.
The police/security department’s ability to carry out its function has been significantly constrained by its present quarters on the second floor of the Office of Student Development along Woodlawn Avenue.
“Our goal is to serve the Wittenberg community, and moving to this new facility will certainly help to enhance our operation and services,” said Carl Loney, chief of police/security. “We also want to provide a user-friendly area that welcomes the Wittenberg community yet still enables us to perform our duties effectively.”
The switchboard, which reports directly to the police/security department and provides dispatching services for the department, will also share the annex, making for a stronger partnership that will ultimately benefit everyone involved.
“Even though Recitation is locked in the evenings, it can still be nerve-racking for the switchboard operators to work alone in a relatively exposed location, which regularly echoes the creaks, groans and banging sounds present in any older structure,” said Maureen Sheehan Massaro, director of human resources.
“This problem will be resolved with the new location, which will also allow both departments to work more efficiently by sharing some responsibilities in serving the university.”
As part of the relocation, the university will slightly modify the north end of the annex to include a 24-hour walk-up visitor information center so that someone arriving at a time when the university is “closed” will be able to gain access to the switchboard operator, who can in turn contact police/security or enable the person to contact a student or staff member in an emergency.
“This is an arrangement we have long needed but hereto had no way of carrying out,” Massaro explained. “Now that the street leading to the security office is blocked, it seemed an appropriate time to move police/security to an area that can provide visitors with direct access to the office along with sufficient parking for security vehicles.”
To accommodate the police/security relocation, the Office of Human Resources will also be changing venues. Work is currently underway to renovate the south end of the Recitation Hall basement formerly occupied by the Computing Center. The renovation aims to make the basement location more customer-friendly and inviting to the public as the office serves as the initial meeting area for numerous applicants as part of the university’s staff recruitment efforts. It also regularly welcomes a steady stream of visitors.
“We’re the first place so many potential employees see when they arrive on campus, and we want them to feel good about the university and comfortable when they visit us,” Massaro said. Both projects are expected to be completed by March 2004.
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