A walk down the third-floor hallway
of the Administration Building has changed little through the ages.
Steep, well-traveled stairwells in the Administration Building are the only access to any of the floors.
The addition to the PERC is
under way for use in fall 2010.
All-conference volleyball player
Christa Peden ’11 will appreciate
the new lockers in the addition to the PERC, under way for use in fall 2010.
VISITORS TO ALUMNI DAYS THIS JUNE will stand upon brand-new space, and perhaps reflect on the possibilities – of a Manchester College campus designed for this new century of students.
That’s the plan. The Master Plan.
The sightline begins at the now grassy site of the former Communications Center, or library, or Education Center, depending on the maturity of the alumni. That newly created space is one of the first transformations of a Master Plan envisioned for Manchester College.
Across campus, new locker rooms and classrooms are rising, dressing up the east side of the PERC. This $1.5 million expansion will be ready for students and student-athletes this fall, while fundraising continues.
Ultimately, this new vision will ably accommodate up to 1,300 students – the ideal enrollment for this North Manchester campus that draws its operational support from tuition and fees. (Enrollment currently is 1,223.)
Manchester has a wealth of space (120 acres), and almost enough building square footage. But there’s the rub: More than 75 percent of the structures are more than 25 years aged, burdening the budget with rising capital and operational needs.
The Master Plan is the result of scores of hours of discussion, grounded in an 11-member Steering Committee of campus leaders, fortified with Town Hall-type meetings of College stakeholders (including trustees, alumni, students, employees and neighbors), and in a variety of creative opinion-gatherings.
Early in discussions, for example, students, faculty and staff stuck colored dots on campus maps to indicate favorite and horrid structures. There were no surprises: The Science Center and College Union were favorites; Schwalm Hall and the Administration Building fared poorly.
The Steering Committee embraced a formidable list of tasks, all grounded in strategic goals to advance the College mission. With help from professional planners and an architectural firm familiar with Manchester, they prioritized building needs, accommodated the 1,300-student optimum enrollment, thought green and engaged a broad range of participants and viewpoints.
It wasn’t all that daunting a challenge, says Jack Gochenaur ’70, vice president for finance and treasurer, and a member of the steering committee. “In some ways, we are preserving an already well-planned campus.
“The academic classrooms always have been at the core of campus.” Today, the mall is the modern core, ringed by academic buildings, with the residence halls, College Union and athletic facilities on the outskirts. That makes planning much easier, and tidier.
Five priorities lead the Master Plan:
- Expand the PERC with additional classrooms and locker rooms.
- Renovate Holl-Kintner into an Academic Center.
- Place the Chime Tower in the historic core of campus, on the now-grassy site of the former Communication Building.
- Replace the Administration Building.
- Create defining entries to campus and improve wayfinding with signage and a welcome route.
While these are identified as most-urgent, a new fieldhouse and renovations of Cordier Auditorium and Winger Hall also are on the list, as are other athletic field, residence hall and parking improvements. More distant (unless funding opportunities arise earlier): Town House apartments for older and non-traditional students, usage decisions for Calvin Ulrey Hall and Clark Computer Center, and environmental and technological improvements. A $7.5 million Academic Center is the cornerstone of the Master Plan, pivotal to its success.
The renovation and expansion of Holl-Kintner into a modern academic center will strengthen more than half of the College’s academic programs, including education, business and accounting, social sciences, communication studies, English, history and modern languages.
“It will do for the non-sciences what the Science Center did for the sciences,” says Glenn Sharfman, vice president and dean for academic affairs. Enrollment of first-year science majors almost doubled with construction of the Science Center.
The structure built in 1959 is sound, so renovation of the old science building into an energy-efficient, environmentally certified, technologically savvy academic center is wise use of the College’s resources, notes Chris Garber ’77, associate vice president for financial affairs and director of operations. “Renovating an existing building instead of building a new one is cost-effective,” he adds. The Academic Center also would house an admissions welcome center.
The Administration Building also is a priority. Because of accessibility concerns, many classes have moved into Holl-Kintner and the Science Center, but accounting and business and many faculty offices remain, as well as many administrative offices. With construction of the Academic Center, all classes will leave the Ad Building.
“This is a building that I love,” says Professor Tim Ogden ’87, who chairs the Accounting and Business program on the third floor. As a student, he sat in history, economics, literature – and business and accounting – classes in the Ad Building. But the building “not only does not facilitate learning, it hinders it,” says Ogden, anxious to move into an Academic Center designed for this century and not the 1800s.
The Master Plan recommends an Administration Building on the current site, at a third of its size, and with a design reminiscent of the historical building. The smaller size would open up a clear vision from College Avenue of campus and of …
The College Chime. Creating a visible icon in the historic heart of campus, a new Chime tower would showcase the historically significant bells and continue to play in students’ memories, predicts Registrar Lila Van Lue ’79 Hammer, who continues to play the chime for special events, including Alumni Days.
“For more than 120 years, Manchester College has transformed students’ lives,” says President Jo Young ’69 Switzer. “Now, it is time to transform our campus for a new century of students. Hopefully, alumni transformed by their Manchester College experience will help us transform the lives of future generations.”
BY JERI KORNEGAY
New vision of campus opens as Com Center
ends 94-year service
A NEW PARK-LIKE AREA OPENS THE HISTORIC HEART of campus with demolition in winter 2010 of the 94-year-old Communications Center building.
Over the years, the four-level building just north of the Administration Building has housed science labs, the College library, an elementary and high school, a museum, WBKE radio station and finally, communications studies and economics classes.
“The building has served Manchester College well and its time is past,” says President Jo Young ’69 Switzer, who studied in the building in the ’60s and taught there as a communication professor in the ’80s.
The College closed the building in summer 2007, relocating the radio station across the mall into a remodeled suite in the Winger Building. The closing brought significant energy and maintenance savings to the College, says Chris Garber ’77, associate vice president for financial affairs and director of operations.
The building did not have an elevator, making accessibility a challenge. The 147-foot radio tower and transmitter shed will be moved later.
The four-floor building opened in fall 1915, with biology, physics, chemistry, agriculture, horticulture, domestic science (cooking, household chemistry and sewing), plus an art department and museum, says William R. Eberly ’48, professor emeritus of biology. A greenhouse and pig pen were nearby.
The building also housed the Manchester Academy, providing pre-college training before most communities had public high schools. The sciences moved into the Administration Building in the early 1920s and in 1926 a College library moved in, with an addition on the north side for library stacks.
With remodeling again in 1964, the College created a Communications Center for classes in English, public speaking, communications and drama, and WBKE-FM, the student radio station. Economics faculty also had classes and offices in the building.