With the recent completion of the Center for Virtual Learning, there has been much talk among students about the addition. The first concern is the lack of parking, as students and faculty don’t want to walk an extensive distance. Yet the larger concern, to me personally, is what this new building means for the future of Ferris.
The CVL is the second building within the last two years built on a spot originally home to a traditional residential hall. Vandercook Hall was demolished to make way for new construction. On the west end of campus, virtually the same thing happened. Bishop Hall was torn down in order to build the new Early Learning Center. Is this going to be a continued pattern that we see? In that case, how much of the original campus will be left?
Some may argue that this implementation of modern buildings is beneficial to Ferris. It may cause visitors to feel a sense of grandeur when they see the newly built CVL and FLITE at the entrance. Although the new Center for Virtual Learning does not look bad, it also appears to be a massive printer sitting in the middle of our campus.
At least these new constructions may be advantageous to certain programs and students, right? Potentially, but the grapevine of students saying that CVL has already had its basement flooded and other smaller issues doesn’t inspire much hope. Especially when considering that the degrees the CVL is catering to are often done virtually outside of class.
These reasons cause me to wonder about the necessity of new construction. Why is Ferris not focusing on saving our older structures, reusing or renovating them for other purposes than what they originally were? We know that it is possible, as the Timme Center, Johnson Hall and newly remodeled Miller Hall are proof. If it is such a hassle and expense to demolish one building and rebuild a different one entirely, would it not make sense to focus on the true obligation of a college?
Preservation of academics and history are common throughout higher academic institutions. Think about it, no one goes to an Ivy League college and expects all of their buildings to be brand new. This new construction simply lacks any real value on our campus.
As a student I can attest that we do not care about shiny new structures. Instead, we are concerned about our finances, comfort and social life. If the student body had been asked what the money should go towards, most would say a/c in halls, or updating current buildings, not more new buildings across campus.