If you haven’t already seen it by now, a rather large cement-filled hole in the ground resides on the corner of Prescott and 48th St., and yes, it will be there for a while. While the official work for a new entrance began in May, this has been a long standing plan for about 25 years; funding recently became available to bring this goal to life. The entrance was originally planned for completion by October 2016 but issues with permits and underground water mains are pushing the completion to June.
The main motive for building the new entrance was to make the school look more professional and easily accessible to the many visitors that visit campus year-round. “It’s a project we partnered up with College View Church because their sign was falling apart and ours was basically hidden. We are hoping for more visibility on both ends,” Union President Dr. Vinita Sauder.
But some students are still wary about it all.
Grace Vande Gutche, a sophomore communication major weighed her thoughts. “The thought is nice but the school could be putting the money to better use; it’s not a complete waste because the church is also benefitting from it, but there are other things on campus that should be the top priority.”
A few concerns that arise from the thought of a new entrance mainly have to do with time and money. There is a board of about nine alumni and constituencies—a body of citizens who elect a representative—who have been planning the building of the entrance for more than 10 years, and the donations that came from alumni are specifically for this project. “A big issue with this is that people think that we are wasting money, but there is an actual need for this and it is going to last a very long time,” says Sauder.
On the other hand, positive feedback supports the construction. “I think it’s fitting given that the area is going to be the main passageway,” enthuses Union graduate A.J. Valcin, office assistant in the Teaching Learning Center on campus.
Including the entrance, there are also plans in the future for a new visitors’ parking lot and repairs to the roofs of multiple buildings on-campus. Summarizes Matthew Roque, director of institutional research at Union College, “The overall goal with the master plan and any renovations or repairs is to continue and improve the professionalism of Union College, and this is one of the things that will add to it.”
Caroline Guchu is a sophomore studying communication.