By: Max Bruns ~Staff Writer~
In an effort to make Xavier University’s campus more oriented to student life, Xavier has added and renovated spaces like the Xavier Lawn, Hoff Dining Commons, Alter Hall, the Gallagher Student Center (GSC) and the Conaton Learning Commons in the past decade alone. This summer, another change will come when the university revamps the GSC’s layout to create more spaces for students to spend their time when not in class.
The first floor space that currently houses the Xavier Bookstore will be split up into two sections: one for the bookstore and one for a student lounge. This change comes after students voiced concerns this fall about the lack of available space on campus for club programming.
Associate Provost and Chief Student Affairs officer David Johnson said this change will have an impact on day-to-day student life.
“We have long wanted to increase the space available for student life. Space is one of the most important assets we have to help students make Xavier their home,” wrote Johnson. “When Follett opened their new bookstore in University Station it created an opportunity for us to develop this new space (which we are very excited about),” Johnson said in an email.
The new area will feature several assets which will create prime space for clubs to host events and hold meetings and for students to simply hang out and relax.
“The space will have a stage for performances and big screens for movies or presentations. It will serve as a living room where students can relax, a performance space, a space for celebrations and big events, a place for students to hang out with their friends, and a space where students can meet up with a faculty or staff member for a cup of coffee and conversation,” Johnson said.
Construction is not going to interrupt the daily student operations that take place in Gallagher and is scheduled to be completed by fall 2016.
“The majority of the construction will be done over the summer. The new student lounge/student event space should be ready to go at the beginning of the coming fall semester! The new student space will occupy just over what is half of the current bookstore space,” Johnson said.
Rumors circulating about the displacement of the bookstore as a result of this new space are inaccurate, Johnson said.
“The bookstore will continue to have a presence in the GSC; it will simply occupy half the space it previously had,” he said. “Students will still be able to buy books, school supplies and convenience store options right in the GSC. As well, the book store will continue to have locations in University Station and in Cintas.”
Administration had student input in the design and layout of the space to gauge how to best create the new environment.
“Over the past year, we have worked with students across campus to design this new space,” Johnson said.
If everything goes as planned, the new academic year will usher in an even more accommodating campus designed by students, for students.