For those who might have missed it, the H Street entrance to the Marvin Center was closed this week because of chunks of concrete crumbling from fifth-floor window ledges. Yes chicken little, the sky was falling.
This incident puts the need for building renovations in the spotlight. For the past 10 years, the University has discussed – and taken baby steps toward – renovation.
The Marvin Center, a 28-year-old student union, never has undergone full-scale renovation. Financial difficulties, zoning approval snags and scheduling concerns have stood in the way of a facelift since 1988.
Beyond structural changes to bring the building into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, plans call for a mall-like atmosphere within the facility, retail space and expanded student services offices.
Other proposed features include an atrium, an information-kiosk area and a new ballroom to be completed in 1999.
Students have faced a deteriorating building, and found their space encroached on by classrooms and conference space. Perhaps the too-tangible sign of falling concrete will give administrators the push necessary to accomplish what 10 years and $4 million in plans hasn’t – the drive to complete this project.
The Marvin Center is a vital part of student and student organization life – it is disheartening for students to see its dilapidation.