As part of yearly renovations, some buildings on campus underwent facelifts over the summer, resulting in both minor fixes and major updates.
Alumni Memorial Union Executive Director Todd Vicker said that his facility received only small, yet necessary, updates. In addition to freshly shampooed carpets and a new coat of paint, permanent outlets along the building’s main staircase were installed to replace old extension cords.
Further changes were made to Marquette Place in order to increase the food court’s capacity and efficiency.
Additional tables and chairs were placed to increase space for diners, while the kitchen equipment at the Grill was expanded in order to better accommodate students in expediting the ordering process. Vicker said that the addition of the equipment saved Marquette over $18,000 because Sodexo was able to reclaim the equipment from another account.
In all, the building’s new furniture totaled $30,000. Vicker said the changes were discussed with Marquette’s advisory board last spring and did not interfere with the building’s normal usage.
“None of the improvements had any negative impact on our operations,” Vicker said.
Other minor campus renovations include new front desks at Mashuda and Humphrey Halls, said Straz Tower Residence Hall Director Andrew Levy, with O’Donnell and McCormick Halls being the main recipients of Marquette funded facelifts.
Associate Dean for Administration Services Rick Arcuri said campus buildings are in need of touch ups at the end of every school year. Such improvements included the addition of a new fire alarm and sprinkler system in McCormick to replace the building’s original system. Arcuri added that O’Donnell’s old fire alarm system was replaced after “age had worn it down.” Other projects included the painting of all residential halls and the purchase of 600 new mattresses for various buildings to replace old ones, which were then donated.
A large whiteboard in Arcuri’s office lists the necessary tasks his summer crew was charged with completing before students returned to campus. His crew is comprised of about 40 individuals, mostly students, who began work in late May and are still finishing tasks such as washing mattresses and cleaning elevator tracks to ensure residential halls are properly prepared for students.
Arcuri admits the work is strenuous considering the number of rooms there are to tend over the summer.
“It’s really like a hotel,” Arcuri said. “Except there are eight hotels to care for. It’s just a lot to do in very little time.”
Although unsure of the exact amount spent on campus renovations, Arcuri estimates it to be in the millions. For example, three million dollars were spent on Carpenter and Cobeen halls, according to Arcuri. He said the money was well spent as he has heard positive reactions regarding the work.
Arcuri added that every year, certain buildings may appear more rundown than others simply because of the behavior of the individuals who previously occupied the space.
“Each building will need different care,” Arcuri said. “We try to visit a room seven or eight times (before a resident’s arrival) to make sure we don’t miss anything.”
While Arcuri said that most Marquette students appreciate the space and improvements his team completes, he added that some residents’ actions are disappointing.
“It’s your home,” Arcuri said. “I don’t understand the lack of pride or care for your living space.”
Regardless, Arcuri added that unveiling renovations across campus is always enjoyable.
“It’s great to see people react to that ‘wow factor,’” Arcuri said. “We knew we had done the right thing.”
Johnston Hall also received extensive renovations, with several study tables and chairs now dotting the new flooring on the third and fourth floors.