SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — Wittenberg University has enjoyed a flurry of activity during summer break as campus changes were made just in time to welcome the class of 2008 to campus. Classes began for the 621 new students and the returning students today.
The class of 2008 consists of 326 females and 295 males. Seventeen hail from different countries, including the Bahamas, Ecuador, England, Holland, India, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Sweden, Syria and Vietnam.
“The journey has begun for the class of 2008, and it will continue at a fast pace,” said Carolyn Perkins, associate vice president and dean of students at Wittenberg. “In about the next 1,200 days, these students will experience new ideas, enhance their critical-thinking skills, cultivate friendships — many they’ll have for the rest of their lives — and learn how to balance their intellectual achievement and the fun of being a college student.”
Returning students and faculty will notice changes on campus, some significant and some barely noticeable, but all crucial to the university. Leamer Hall was razed and replaced with landscaping so as to promote additional green space. The building at 826 Woodlawn, formerly known as the Dietrich House, was also razed in preparation for a new residence hall, and the Peace Center, which was housed there, was relocated to a newly renovated location at 226 West College Street. The new location of the Peace Center will provide better access for students. The building housing Student Development is now the Dietrich House. Old Woodlawn Hall also now sports new windows.
Wittenberg’s original structure, Myers Hall, is now equipped with Internet access, new phone lines and cable T.V., completing phase three of the renovations to this much revered building.
The Recitation Hall Annex now houses the police/security and campus switchboard, resulting in all non-student mail being centralized in the Recitation mailroom. The walk-up window on the north end of annex is intended to assist visitors who need directions, general campus information, or other assistance such as a key drop-off.
Members of the athletic department formed a team of a different sort as they painstakingly worked to resurface the old gym floor this summer. The roof and HVAC systems were also replaced on the 1972 addition to the Barbara Deer Kuss Science Center, and the underground steam lines were replaced at Recitation and Zimmerman Halls.
In addition, the campus bookstore underwent extensive remodeling. Now the Barnes & Noble-managed store can accommodate more merchandise, and patrons should find the area to be a much more efficient use of space with better lighting and check-out accommodations.
Exciting renovation work is in progress at the Black Culture House and a completely refurbished house will be ready for dedication during “The Big Shebang” weekend in October. Also installed this summer and set to be officially dedicated the same weekend is the Anti-Racism statement that was approved by the Board of Directors at its May meeting. The plaque is located on the exterior wall of the Benham-Pence Student Center, near the Wally Witt statue.
One change that has been slightly delayed, but one that organizers promise will be even more exciting than previously anticipated involves the renovation of the campus retail dining facility, The Commons. The original design needed revising, so the work could not be completed before the start of classes today. A conceptual rendering of the new design is on display in the lobby of Recitation Hall. A project schedule is promised soon.
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