Just when you thought the construction was over, think again. Two new projects are slated to begin within the next few months along with the current Bellarmine reconstruction effort already in progress.

The first of the two projects, beginning in May, is a new boulevard and entrance. Secondly, the design of a two-story, 15,000 sq. ft. office building and an adjoining parking lot will begin design in the fall, according to a Campus Currents article.

The new University Boulevard, designed to give visitors “a sense of arrival on campus”, will be part of the North Benson entrance.

The road will extend straight through the grassy area in front of Alumni Hall that previously housed tennis courts and end in front of the Barone Campus Center.

The new road will also feature a security checkpoint, a lit, tree-lined entryway and a parking lot. The existing rotary will be removed. The project is scheduled to be completed in August, according to Campus Currents.

The second project will begin as the first winds down. The two-story office building, that has yet to be designed, will be located on the hill to the northeast of Bellarmine Hall. Recently approved by the Board of Trustees, it will house undergraduate and graduate admissions, financial aid, the university registrar, the bursar and feature an adjoining parking lot.

“No plans have been developed yet, but we do know the building will betwo stories and contain about 15,000 square feet,” said Ric Taylor, director of campus operations, “The exterior will be carefully designed so it compliments Bellarmine.”

Today, the admissions office, offices of financial aid and the University registrar are all housed in separate buildings.

The new building is part of the university’s effort to house related departments together, creating a “one-stop shopping” for students. The new building will be the “Arrival Center for prospective students and their parents,” according to Taylor.

Originally, the building was slated to be in the Barone Campus Center but, “reviewing this further, it was felt that a location closer to Bellarmine would be a more dramatic impression for visitors while still being convenient for current students,” said Taylor.

Construction will take about a year to complete and will not affect graduation. In addition, the new building will free enough room for nine additional classrooms and 20 faculty offices when the offices move into the new building.

Both projects are part of a campus master plan to develop the campus and update Fairfield University. Originally unveiled in October 1995, the plan was meant as a framework to select future construction sites and projects and design projects to improve roads, signs and landscaping on campus.

The current $2 million renovation of Bellarmine is slated to be completed in August along with the boulevard construction. Bellarmine Hall’s exterior is being refaced and hazardous materials such as lead paint and asbestos are being removed.

Faced with more years of construction on campus, students had mixed reactions.

“I don’t think it’s necessary to construct another building on campus,” said Bill Armstrong ’05. “I think they could have used our money to do something that would benefit the current student body, not visitors.”

Jen Mueller ’05 agreed with Armstrong. “It seems a little unnecessary because we won’t be able to use really use it while our tuition is going to be used to pay for it.”

However, Mike Barry ’05 supports the construction projects. “I think it’s a great project. Bellarmine really needed the work done and I think that putting all the information and admissions offices together would make it easier for everyone, not just prospective students. It makes sense.”

He added, “I think the new entrance will be great too because that rotary is stupid and another parking lot is always a good idea.”

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