President Richard Cosentino recently shared information with the Lander community about the upcoming improvements to the campus.
Last week, I provided an update to the Board of Trustees regarding numerous campus enhancements that will be taking place at the University beginning this spring and summer, and I am excited to now share this news with our entire University family.
These updates, which are summarized below, will include the addition of new recreational and academic space for students, as well as renovation and expansion of a number of current campus buildings and facilities. Activity on these projects will get under way in the coming days and weeks, and we anticipate having many of them complete by the fall semester, with the remainder to finish up over the course of the academic year.
New Outdoor Recreation Center
At nearly 70 years old, the Sproles Recreation Center no longer safely accommodates our students’ expanding needs for recreational space that also provides adequate social distancing. To address this, the University has received approval from the Board of Trustees and the State of South Carolina to demolish Sproles to make way for an outdoor, multipurpose space for recreational and academic use.
Designs for the space are still being finalized, but this new area will complement our existing outdoor pool with the addition of a large concrete pad, new lighting, a covered pavilion, restrooms and audio/visual equipment. This space will also provide a unique, expansive area for outdoor classes, academic activities and campus events that call for social distancing. Renovations to the pool and patio should be completed by this fall, with the pavilion and restrooms following later in the academic year.
Housing Renovations and Maintenance
With more students living on campus than ever before, it is critically important that our residence halls receive regular attention and maintenance so that they remain top-quality, safe and comfortable living spaces. This summer, we will be undertaking more than 20 renovation projects at Bearcat Village, Brookside, Centennial, Chipley, Lide, Thomason and Williamston residence halls, with a focus on cosmetic and functional updates, including: new roofing, flooring and decking; bathroom updates; new windows and blinds; interior and exterior painting; and HVAC, water heater and drainage upgrades.
Laura Lander Hall Tower Renovation
As the icon of our University, the bell tower of Laura Lander Hall is one of our most recognizable and most celebrated campus landmarks. A significant renovation project is scheduled to preserve and restore the 117-year-old bell tower to its original beauty. The work will include roofing and brick touchups, along with new louvers and uplighting, to ensure that our magnificent bell tower can remain a proud symbol of the university for the next century and beyond.
Genesis Hall Updates
Genesis Hall houses Lander’s Student Wellness Center, which provides health and counseling services, as well as the University’s Academic Advising Center. As you recall, the Lander University Police Department was also located in Genesis, but recently moved to the former offices of University Advancement and the Alumni Association. This move freed up a significant amount of floor space in Genesis, which can now be reconfigured to enhance health and counseling services, as well as expand advising services – all of which play a critical role in student success. Additionally, this space can provide a more efficient location for the campus post office.
Legion Hall Nursing Simulation Lab
Lander’s Legion Hall, located about one-half mile from campus, will soon be home to the William Preston Turner School of Nursing’s state-of-the-art simulation laboratory. Construction is already under way on the lab, which has been designed with input from our nursing school faculty, other simulation labs, and Self Regional Healthcare. The expansive facility will promote appropriate social distancing and will feature an array of the most current clinical equipment and technologies, providing Lander’s student nurses with a safe, dynamic and realistic environment for hands-on clinical instruction.
Field House II
Construction is also in progress at Lander’s Jeff May Athletic Complex on a second field house, located in the former Wellness Works building. When complete, Field House II will be home to our wrestling and lacrosse teams, and will provide exceptional facilities for strength and conditioning programs.
Bank of America Building, Uptown Greenwood
With the University continuing to experience record growth in the number of students and programs, there is an urgent need for additional space that can be used for academic, administrative, student life and event purposes, while also allowing for social distancing. To address this shortage, Lander recently purchased the former Bank of America building in Uptown Greenwood, which will add more than 18,100 square feet of versatile, multipurpose space for our University community. Renovation of the 2nd and 3rd floors will be completed first, with the ground floor following in the second phase.
This new addition will serve as a beautiful, modern facility for multiple campus departments, and provide another location for meetings, student organization functions, and university and community events. Along with increasing Lander’s visibility and presence in the Uptown area, the new building will also free up space on our main campus to allow for more social distancing in classrooms, offices and meeting areas.
Chipley Circle Drive Enhancement
The circle drive in front of Chipley Hall will be reconfigured and repaved this summer, incorporating new landscaping and other enhancements that will not only beautify the area, but also make it safer and more convenient for students and pedestrians.
Recreation Field Lighting
New lighting will be installed at the recreation field next to New Residence Hall, allowing for more opportunities for outdoor intramurals, campus recreation, academic events and other campus functions where attendees need the ability to safely spread out.
Over the summer, the University will be installing new digital signage that will allow for more efficient communication with our campus and surrounding communities. This digital signage will be large, dynamic, and strategically placed throughout the main campus and off-campus sites to allow for maximum visibility. The signs will help us better promote important university news and dates, campus events, and emergency messages.
As you can see, we have a busy spring and summer on tap – a fitting end to a busy academic year. And, of course, all of these enhancements follow on the heels of the S.C. General Assembly providing Lander with funding for renovations to 94 classrooms; upgrades to information technology, safety and security; and roof replacements for multiple campus buildings.
I hope you will once again pardon our construction as we continue to enrich and improve the student experience at Lander University. Like you, I look forward to watching our campus further grow and transform in the weeks ahead.