for "Main Street"
College Union for
NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. - Stimulated by the stereo
construction sounds of a new Science Center on one side of the campus
mall and a new recital hall on the other, Manchester College is
hastening its pace toward a new College Union, too.
that third groundbreaking is several million dollars away. "We're
half-way there. We need about $3.3 million to reach our $6.5 million
goal to begin construction," said Janine L. Fey, associate director of
development and staff steward for the Union reconstruction. As with the
two other debt-free construction projects, the 1,170-student Manchester
College will not break ground on the new College Union until the money
is in hand.
Reconstruction of a larger, friendlier College
Union was put on the back burner as Manchester gathered resources for
groundbreakings on the $17 million Science Center in November and the
$1.2 million recital hall in March. Now it's time to bring the final
project in The Next Step! fund-raising campaign to the forefront.
Currently, student activities are scattered all
campus, the bookstore is buried in a building far off the beaten path,
and the College Union has frustrating accessibility problems. Student
athletes on crutches and alumni with bum knees, for example, must use a
freight elevator or "chance" the steps.
"It's just not an inviting place," said Jim Garber,
chair of the College Union Fund-Raising Committee and former MC
administrator. Garber, his wife Anne, and their four children are grads
of the college.
The exciting solution? A virtual Main Street of
"storefront" campus activities all under one roof, topped by 25 percent
more dining and meeting capacity and a much larger kitchen to
accommodate campus as well as community events and togetherness. Lots of
accessibility, a coffeeshop/bookstore, an art gallery and study nooks
will further enhance utility and friendliness of the two-story
"The thought is to make the Union an exciting place
to go, because there's all this great stuff there," said architect James
Kratzat, owner MSKTD & Associates Inc. of Fort Wayne. Kratzat is savvy
about Manchester College's needs: His firm also designed Manchester's
Funderburg Library and its Physical Education and Recreation Center
"To a large degree, most student activities will be
moved into the new Union, including the bookstore," Garber said, noting
the current campus store is in a basement on the opposite end of campus.
On one side of the Main Street (as wide as a real
street) will be an entire area a-buzz with student activities, clubs and
organizations around a common open worksite for poster-making and
brainstorming. "There will be a lot of glass on the room fronts, so you
can really see what is going on and it adds activity and excitement,"
said Kratzat. Also on the street will be an ever-present reminder of
jobs to come and help at hand - the Office of Career Services. Across
the "street," students will find a larger campus post office.
The Oaks coffee and snack shop will nestle
alongside the campus store in an inviting "Border's" bookstore
The elevation of the two-story structure will
change, to enable ground-level entry to a large grand stairway alongside
an elevator to the upstairs cafeteria and meeting rooms and down to the
"Main Street." Total square footage will be 48,580 square feet - almost
74 percent larger than the current College Union.
A focal point of the second floor will be an art
gallery with a sliding glass entrance to securely display the fine arts
achievements of students and faculty and visiting exhibits.
The new College Union will accommodate an audience
of more than 500 upstairs, with adjustable rooms for smaller gatherings.
Those arrangements will enhance conference opportunities for Manchester,
which hosts more than 5,500 guests annually, from band camps to church
conferences and community service clubs. Outside the meeting rooms will
be comfortable areas for registering conference guests and nooks where
students can hang out in lounge chairs to do homework or yak. Upstairs
restrooms and large windows to the athletic fields also are in the
The design of the new
College Union will impact academic programs as well, said Jo Young
Switzer, vice president and dean for academic affairs. "One of the best
parts of an education at Manchester College is the fact that it happens
in many different places - classrooms, professors' offices, and in
casual conversations at lunch. The design of the renovated union will
encourage interactions that enhance learning."
Manchester, a liberal
arts Church of the Brethren college in North Manchester,
Ind., offers 45 areas of study to
students from 29 states and 33 countries. For more information about the