By Nikki Gusse
The Board of Trustees approved a multi-year plan in January for significant campus improvements at William Peace University.
The University will be undergoing many renovations, including upgrades to the athletic center, student center, bookstore, and President’s House.
Many students say they are anxious for these changes. Josie Carmona, a Peace junior, said, “I think that there are definitely a few changes that should be made so these renovations are a really good start.”
The Herman Athletic Center will be the first building to experience new improvements beginning in Fall 2012.
Built in 1963 as a gift from Grover M. Herman and family this building will be accommodating William Peace students and the expansion of three men’s sports teams. The upgrades will include:
• A fitness center
• Weight rooms
• Home and Visiting Locker rooms (male and female)
• A field house for spring training and intramural space
• A training room
• Dance and Aerobics studio
“I think these changes will really help the current student body to become more active and get involved,” said Aaryn Deal, sophomore and Pacer Softball team member. “It will definitely improve the way our athletes train.”
Currently, William Peace University participates in the NCAA Division III USA South Athletic Conference in six women’s sports.
The student center is another building that will undergo an expansion.
The bookstore will relocate from Belk Dining Hall to provide more space for meetings and recreational activities for students.
Upgrades to the student center will include a renovated dining hall for students to enjoy meals, a coffee shop, student game and lounge space, and student government offices.
The bookstore will move to where the maintenance offices now preside and will be remodeled to ensure that students have full access to supplies and books as needed.
The maintenance offices will then be relocated to a building in the back of campus. William Peace students will now have more room to study, relax, and live the college life in a new and improved student center.
On top of the changes being made to the student and athletic centers, the Board of Trustees has voted to transfer the Presidents House, which is now currently located near North Hills Mall back to downtown Raleigh.
“The Board of Trustees believes these investments are wise ones for the university to make to stay competitive and remain a top school of choice for students interested in an affordable, quality, post-secondary education, and I concur with their decisions,” said President Debra Townsley.
The Board said they approved moving the President’s House in an effort to increase meeting and entertainment space for students, faculty, staff, alumnae, and community members.
Other improvements the University plans to make are additional long-term investments in energy-saving devices and technology. The Board plans to improve the university website and other information that will produce considerable cost savings in the long run.
This plan is set to begin in Spring 2012 and is expected to be a several year process.
The administration says the University has received money for these improvements from donations as well as capital campaign and external financing.
“I feel like some of the future renovations being made are not completely necessary for the school especially since we are in a type of ‘financial bind’ but I think that these changes are necessary,” said Carmona.
Alumnae and friends of the university are supporting the $6 million cost for renovations, which includes the entirety of all planned upcoming improvements.