Sewell Auditorium will undergo renovations to make it the official home for the Office of Residence Life and serve as a gathering place for students.
Kevin Campbell, senior vice president for operations, said because communal areas that existed in the past have been repurposed for other uses, Sewell will serve as another place where students can gather.
“One thing we’re really desiring to do is to give students a space where they can be in community, hang out and give them a multi-purpose space,” Campbell said.
Because of this, ResLife will seek to draw students into community in a different way.
“Res Life has had a huge voice in this design process as we create this freshman village with one of the main goals being how to create a space that draws students out of their own res hall rooms and into community with others,” Campbell said.
Campbell also said ResLife’s involvement with the project helped decide to transfer their offices to Sewell.
“Given this kind of being a hub for ResLife we thought it would be best to go and have the offices of the staff there, and we also need someone who’s actually staffing the building throughout the day,” Campbell said.
While there are about 1800 square feet still yet to have a designated purpose, Campbell said there would be three types of rooms that have been designed for the renovations.
“One room would potentially hold 200-250 students in a normal seating capacity, maybe 100-125 for a dinner-type setup,” Campbell said, “Then there would be two other rooms, what we would call very large conference rooms that are going to be flexible in nature, and then a large lobby similar to what you may see in the Hunter Welcome Center where that space can be used for a variety of different purposes.”
He said that while this will be the new home for ResLife, the goal is to transition the theatre department to Taylor Elementary.
“For a lot of our students, especially in the technical side of Theatre, whether it be set production, costumes or props, they’ve spent a tremendous amount of time in this facility,” Campbell said. “But as we’ve engaged the faculty in Theatre, they’re very excited of the opportunity we have with the space over at Taylor Elementary.”
The Sewell renovations will estimate around $5 million and be funded through donors. Campbell said the goal for its completion is to be done in tandem with the second residence hall for the freshman village.