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Campus, facility changes implemented

September 10th, 2009

This summer, several developments took place at John Carroll, improving the facilities and cosmetics of campus.

Mark McCarthy, vice president for student affairs, was pleased with the upgrades.

“There’s a plan in place for facilities improvements and a lot of that work gets done over the summer. Based on the budget we have, it gets implemented.”

Every summer there are basic maintenance projects, such as roofing and painting repairs. However this summer, administration took on more noticeable projects.

“There are special projects that come about,” said McCarthy. “The wrestling room has been in the works for five years, and alums were the fundraisers.”

Prior to this year, the wrestling room was located underneath the pool area. However, after fundraising from alumni, the administration is almost finished with a project that will turn the RecPlex Annex into a state of the art wrestling practice facility.

McCarthy said, “They wanted to create a better practice experience. We’re really excited about that. That was a special project that was a result of many donors, many of which were wrestlers.”

The cost of the project would total nearly $400,000. It includes painting, new mats and equipment, and air conditioning, among other room renovations. 

The administration hopes it will be completed by Homecoming, or the weekend of Oct. 9.

Since the former wrestling room will no longer be occupied by the wrestling team, the room will be used as a fitness studio. Yoga and spinning classes will be here there, and there will be mirrored walls. This will allow for more flexible use of basketball and racquetball courts.

Another improvement is that some of the residence halls now have electronic access. This means   those in the halls will have access to the dorms using fobs, or electronic keys instead of metal keys.

“Our long range plan is to have electronic access to all halls, but we’re starting with [Campion, Hamlin, Millor and Bernet],” said McCarthy.

These dorms will be the first to use electronic access because they are the most wheelchair accessible. Fobs are ideal for those with limited maneuverability, since they can be used with handicap push plate switches. These dorms are used for Greek Life. 

McCarthy said, “The idea is to be able to grant access to members of Greek Life who don’t live in the dorms.” 

The fobs allow access into the building, and again are required to gain access to the particular Greek floors. 

John Carroll’s laundry service provider, ASI, installed new environmentally friendly washing machines in the residence halls. 

“We were intending to upgrade the laundry next year,” said McCarthy. “We wanted to replace them with higher efficiency for environmental purposes.”

However, before JCU was fully prepared to follow through with the project, ASI offered an incentive to speed up the process. Since JCU agreed to implement the new service this year, ASI is providing the first year of service free of charge for students.

Other improvements include a newly painted pool and pool area, two brand new restrooms that are approved by the American Disabilities Act standards, and a sidewalk ramp behind Pacelli Hall.

The Student Activities Fee, which paid for the pool area improvements, electronic access to residence halls, and the fitness studio, was also put towards several improvements in The Underground. There are now new furnishings and a flat screen television. Soon, a Wii, a pool table and a foosball table will be added as well.

“We’re really pleased we can take care of these projects to keep campus beautiful and useful for students,” McCarthy said.