Last spring, Alter Hall was closed, supposedly due to structural problems. A rumor circulated that it would be torn down entirely, due to its age and the cost to repair it, and that it would be rebuilt — a newer, bigger, better classroom building that would be the center of our campus life.
Only this week, it seems that all these plans have been scrapped. Alter Hall is due for remodeling, and the administration decided to ask student opinions at a forum this week. According to the event details on the university calendar, “This is a prime opportunity for students to share insights directly with the Alter Hall Renovation Team.”
We applaud the administration for taking into account students’ opinions on this key facet of campus life. We spend most of our class time in Alter; it is where the majority of Core classes were conducted prior to the spring semester of 2013.
The slow progress on this key point of campus life has been disappointing, whereas Fenwick Place took only a year to build from the ground up. University Station (which is not a university project, we concede) is well under way.
Alter, however, is still sitting empty, and we cannot predict how long it will be until it is back online. It is odd that the center of academic life should be so quiet in the midst of a semester. If nothing else, however, we have seen an effort on the administration’s part to incorporate students into their plans and we urge the administration to act on their demonstrated interest in student opinions.
In the meantime, though, we’ll be waiting.