Vincennes University Campus Construction Underway

Kayla Trent and Jacie Springston-Stacy

Campus has been undergoing many changes and renovations recently. Students most likely have witnessed construction take place while walking to and from class each day. Perhaps the most impactful project currently taking place on campus is the upgrading of the walkways and removal of bricks.

According to Andrew Young, Director of Architectural Services and Facilities, the bricks on the walkways of campus got to the point where they could no longer be effectively or efficiently maintained.

“[The bricks] had some really bad dips in some areas,” said Young. These areas of the brick walkways became a hardship for students with disabilities or mobility issues.

Young described the campus walkway replacement as an “ongoing project.” He mentioned that they are “hitting the worst spots first,” and that they are connecting new sections of walkway to other new sections where it is most logical to do so. Young said that the plan is to “continue that progress however long it takes to get it all fixed.”

Some might note or raise concern, however, to the historical value of the bricks.

“There may be a few bricks left here and there,” said Young, “[but] a large portion will have to be replaced just because of their condition.”

In addition to updating campus walkways, some of the residence halls have also undergone renovations. Last school year, Vigo Hall was closed to students so renovations could take place.

Young stated that these renovations were finished over the summer and included indoor and outdoor improvements like mechanical upgrades and cosmetic improvements. According to Young, the lobby in Vigo Hall was “opened up” and made “much more accessible to students.” Improvements were also made to the rooms and hallways.

One of the on campus housing options is Vigo Hall, located right between Godare Hall and Tecumseh Dining Center. Vigo Hall received renovations during the 2017-2018 academic year. Some residents have mixed reviews about the changes.

Mitchell Douglass, as a third year resident assistant of Vigo Hall, and Homeland Security major, had some insight, including expansions to the lobby and removal of several offices.

“Vigo Hall originally housed Student Support Services, and there were a couple of other offices in the building, one of them being on the first floor, which meant the lobby was cut in half,” said Douglass. “There was originally a dividing wall in the lobby; you could only enter the lobby to go to your rooms through the walkway, that was in between Vigo and Godare. Now all of the offices have been removed, on the first, second and third floor, other than the Multicultural and International Affairs [offices].”

The removal of these offices has left the lobby completely open, which does allow residents and other students to use both entrances, but seems to also raise a security issue for Douglass.

“As far as security-wise, I see a couple of issues with it,” Douglass voiced his concerns. “There is so much seating, and there’s so many blind spots in the lobby that we aren’t able to see, because we don’t have enough mirrors, or cameras so we can’t see all of the corners yet.”

While security may be a drawback to Vigo’s new open space, Douglass still agrees that it is the biggest change to the resident hall, going on to say that the new seating makes students, “feel welcome,” but has also caused enforcement of “a 30-minute loitering policy.”

Most students still try to take advantage of the quiet work space in the lobby, such as Vigo resident and student Dominic Herrick, a business administration major.

He commented that, “There are a lot of tables and it’s just a quiet, segregated room.”

Harrison Hall also underwent a few less extensive renovations, said Young. This included cosmetic changes, lighting improvements for energy efficiency and a few mechanical upgrades.

Young also mentioned it is possible that other residence halls such as Godare Hall could also see renovations in the near future, as well.

A variety of other projects and renovations have taken place for Vincennes University recently: there is a new agricultural facility being built on U.S. 41 that will feature a John Deere Precision Agriculture program, the P.E. Complex has undergone renovations to their fitness studio and more.

Young also said that plans and designs are in the making for major changes to the Learning Resource Center (LRC) that will change it from a “repository for books” to a “student academic hub.” Young said that he is hoping to begin implementing renovations to the LRC during the 2019 spring semester.

These are just a small sampling of the many improvements the Architectural Services and Facilities plan to make within the next few years. “We’re busy as a university and we’re trying to make things better for the students,” Young stated.