By Laura Acuff, Opinion Editor
Offices should complete the move into the Bob and Shirley Hunter Welcome Center by Monday at the latest in preparation for its Feb. 21 dedication.
“I would say, it’s probably pushing 30-40 percent moved in today,” said Kevin Roberts, associate vice president of operations, on Thursday. “It’s just been a success all the way around.”
Offices began the move into the Welcome Center earlier this week, scheduled for specific days for maximum efficiency.
“A lot of credit goes to Scott Colley, Kay Reeves and Yvonne Akens, all three worked really hard with the offices just kind of interviewing them,” Roberts said. “They were really diligent with each office to make an order that made a lot of sense, and it’s actually gone better than we’d hoped for. We’re actually way ahead of schedule.”
Although ice kept the university closed Tuesday and Wednesday morning, Roberts said weather failed to delay the Welcome Center’s progress. Most of the remaining work involved small details inside.
“Anytime you’re building a building of this size, there are always a thousand last-minute details,” Roberts said.
Although the new office spaces sport new furniture, moving offices still needed to pack up personal items and computers along with files and documents, Roberts said.
Despite any current inconvenience from moving, Roberts said the center will provide benefits unique to its location.
“It’s just an exciting place to be, I think, given the offices that are over here are given high visibility for our campus guests,” Roberts said. “It’s exciting to have such a beautiful location to welcome our guests to campus. It’s a great message to our campus visitors on how much we value them and welcome them to our campus.”
Bruce Evans, executive vice president for ACU Foundation, also said the new location should benefit his office, which works primarily with the university’s endowment and gifts to the university.
“I think we’ll have much better access for visitors on the campus, particularly people being able to find a place to park near our facilities,” Evans said. “It’s going to be a wonderful change for us; we’ve had cramped space both for personnel and for files and documents that we maintain and no real meeting place for guests who come to the campus.”
Additionally, Evans said he looks forward to the conglomeration of offices, previously spread across campus, moving into the center and sharing closer quarters.
The ACU Foundation, Evans said, began packing its offices before Christmas break, when officials still anticipated moving in prior to students’ return for the spring semester.
“It’s been interesting,” Evans said. “We’ve been able to accommodate that, but of course, when you pack anticipating a move, and then it’s delayed, there are always things you need that are packed, so we find ourselves frequently sorting through boxes.”
Regardless, Evans said his experience with the move has been positive without any major setbacks.
“It’s gone well,” Roberts said. “It’s just a testimony to the community here at ACU and how they’ve worked together. It’s not fun to move, but people were prepared. It’s gone pretty smoothly.”