On Mar. 4, the student body will not only be electing new co-presidents for the following school year, but also deciding whether to increase the student activity fee by 50 dollars next year to fund the renovation of the Dive. For years, there has been talk of renovating the Dive, however, it wasn’t until February 2012 that those talks became serious in Student Senate.
“The Senate Committee was convened in the fall. Then money was allocated by Student Senate to hire architects for their designs,” Director of Student Activities Megan Ruble said.
She has been involved with the project since its inception.
“I didn’t like being there, and I don’t think people like being there. It smells funny, and it’s acoustically off because the ventilation is so loud. It’s kind of abandoned. It’s surprising to me that Admission even goes through there,” Ruble said.
Jessye Flannery, senior Political Science major and Co-President of Student Senate, shared a similar feeling.
“It’s not used by student groups a lot besides the Dive on Friday night, as the dance floor kind of breaks up the room. The furniture there isn’t that nice, and the space is uncomfortable. It’s a room that doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be,” Flannery said.
The renovated plans for the Dive will increase capacity from 300 to 400 occupants. Senate also expects that the Dive will close Fall semester of 2013 and will reopen Feb. 10, 2014.
“For the renovation project, Senate hired an architectural firm to come in and design blueprints to see how the space could be more useful. That happened last year. The Workshop Architects out of Milwaukee were hired to be the architects. From there a budget was created,” Flannery said.
“Last spring, a group of students picked out a design within a reasonable price range,” Flannery said.
”Although the Board of Trustees is not able to pay for the whole cost of the renovations, they will pay 700,000 dollars of the cost and then students will have to fill in the rest,” Flannery said.
“If we raise the student activity fee over 50 dollars, using 2,500 students as an estimate we will have 1 million dollars after 8 years. Then the total budget for the renovations will be 1.7 million. If it is under budget then the College will stop collecting the student fee,” Flannery said.
However, despite the Board paying 700,000 dollars, both Ruble and sophomore Carl Cronin shared a wish that students didn’t have to pay for the project.
“I think that it’s unfair that the school isn’t willing to pay for a student interaction space. Our tuition is paying for a lot of stuff anyway and therefore we should be able to get some money for it. The burden of that on the students is unfair especially with the high tuition costs,” Cronin said.
Ruble expressed a similar sentiment “I wish that students didn’t have to fund it with their own money. But I understand that that is the reality of it all.”
If the resolution is passed then the renovation process would begin immediately with plans for demolition beginning in the summer. The new Dive would involve moving the Courtyard Caf to the Dive. Other new additions would be TVs, and a large open space for students to use as a hang out spot.