CAMPUS NEWS, NEWS — October 20, 2011 10:16 am

MORE CONSTRUCTION LOOMS AS MORRIS HALL UNVEILS PLANS FOR REDESIGN

As the campus changes with construction on the exterior, Morris Hall, a building shared by the College of Business, Department of Ethnic Studies and Department of Dental Hygiene, unveils plans for new interior designs.

The Council of Student Business Organization (COSBO) student advisory group, consisting of the MSSA College of Business senators and presidents of the business RSOs, are discussing proposals to improve the Morris Hall second floor commons area with better designs to attract students to better utilize the space.

A group of students who frequently use the space shares similar opinions saying, “Sometimes you walk by and that’s it because there’s no seats or space to study.”

It’s an important location to focus on particularly during the winter months because it’s the intersection of Morris Hall, Armstrong Hall and Highland North so people are always passing through the area.

The proposed plans feature an accessible space for more students to use at one time.

“It provides more students with more seating options,” said College of Business dean Brenda Flannery.

The area currently doesn’t accommodate to students for use in between classes due to the lack of workspace and outlets for students who have laptops.  The proposed plans include remodeling and rearranging the commons for a more inviting environment.

The ultimate goal is to increase productivity rather than having a complete renovation.

While the ultimate goal is known, business students are still seeking possible plans for the remodel. The proposed plans are vague and do not offer much information as to what the space will actually look like after the remodel.

Major changes that are taking effect and students can expect to see aside from the relocation of the Office of Institutional Diversity and Honors Program will be the renovation of the MH 265 suite for the Honors Program.

An office and the open area will be resized for a smaller office but in turn provide for a larger student work area. The storage/kitchenette room will also expand to promote workplace relations among staff by increasing staff interaction rather than crammed rooms that isolate co-workers.

The renovation is scheduled for winter break and should be completed before students resume class for Spring semester.

Another major change will be the replacement of the HVAC which is the technological heating and air conditioning compartment in the building by the beginning of the next academic school year. Because the current system is an original unit that isn’t efficient and lacks proper temperature measurement, requests have been made to install a new unit.

“The HVAC is badly needed. …[For] the air handler, you have to run it almost all night long just to keep the temperature up so things don’t freeze,” said Director of Planning and Construction Paul Corcoran. “The new technology can monitor and track that, which will save the university money.”

Funding for the MH 265 suite came from a one-time funding from the 2010-2011 academic school year, while the HVAC renovation came from a state legislator program called Higher Education Asset Preservation (HEAPR) totaling more than $2.5 million.

“By the end of this, we’ll hopefully have high efficiency and hopefully it’ll make everybody much more comfortable,” Corcoran said.

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