Tuesday, May 21st, 2024
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What’s New at MU?

By Devin Marino

From the recently completed living-learning communities to a freshly renovated dining hall, there is a lot that’s new and exciting on Millersville’s campus. Stop by and see for yourself.

THE VILLAGES AT MILLERSVILLE UNIVERSITY

People who haven’t visited campus in a while may notice something different. All of the on-campus student population is now located in one residential quad, the South Quad. MU decided to get rid of the outdated residence halls in favor of new living-learning communities.

During the summer months, construction projects were underway to complete the West Village and restore the South Quad between East Village and West Village. The completion of the West Village student housing complex is the last piece of a $150 million student-housing project, the largest in MU history.

The East and West Village, which are carbon copies of each other, have 601 rooms. The new residence halls have various room options, including double and single suites with private bathrooms shared among the suitemates. In addition, East and West Village have four pods, which are units separate unto themselves in which 10 students reside with a shared common area and two shared bathrooms.

All of the halls have various study lounge areas as well as common spaces where students can socialize and participate in residence life programming. All of the buildings have swipe-card access that works with students’ MU ID cards.

The buildings within each Village were given historical names in order to preserve the University’s traditions and provide context for future students. The new residence halls were constructed as part of a “public-private partnership” between MU and Student Services, Inc. (SSI). This type of arrangement occurs at many institutions nationwide so that old residence hall infrastructure can be replaced with new facilities to meet today’s academic needs.

EXPANDED GORDINIER HALL

When it reopens after the new year, Gordinier Dining Hall will be the central dining facility on campus. The dining hall was expanded and renovated because the on-campus student population is now housed in the South Quad, which is adjacent to Gordinier.

Interior of Villages
Interior of Villages

Boasting a new 22,000 square-foot two-story addition, Gordinier now provides enlarged windows for a wider view of the campus; additional restrooms on both floors, as well as a gender-inclusive bathroom on the first floor; expanded dining on the upper-level deck with mixed seating, such as tables, booths and conversational setups. There are also expanded food stations for more menu diversity. The upper deck area expansion now offers a panoramic view of the South Quad, East Village and West Village. An outside patio on the first floor provides outdoor dining and seating. Before the renovation and expansion, Gordinier Dining Hall had seating for 354 people. The new seating capacity is 600.

Also included in the $13 million renovation and expansion is a multipurpose room for special events and meetings that can accommodate 36 seats in a seminar configuration, or 40 seats in a banquet. The foyer of the new addition has 42 seats and outside seating for 40. The total seat count for the overall project is 678 interior plus 40 exterior seats.

Millersville hopes that this renovation and expansion, coupled with the new residence halls, will help give it a competitive edge when it comes to attracting potential new students.

NEW RECORDING STUDIOS IN THE WINTER CENTER

They say that change brings opportunity, and that is exactly what the additional state-of-the-art recording studios in the Winter Center will bring to MU. As of fall 2016, students in the Music Business Technology (MBT) concentration now have two new studios in which to compose and record music.

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State-of-the-art recording studios in the Winter Center

The studios were built with acoustical design by the Walters-Storyk Design Group; engineering was provided by Spillman Farmer Architects, the architectural firm responsible for the transformation of Lyte Auditorium into the Winter Center; and audio installation was done by Clair Solutions.

The new studio facilities include two 5.1 surround audio rooms with specialized audio isolation booths made by Noise Barriers. The entire operation is centered on the revolutionary customizable Avid S6 M40 console, which is used in major studios and production houses all over the world.

This project was prompted by a major boost in interest from potential MBT students. Enrollment in the program grew over 600 percent in the past three years. In total, the project cost $489,000.

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