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Admin speaks at SGA meeting, unveils campus construction plans

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Myra Frady, Dean of Resource Planning and Chief Finance Officer, met with the Student Government Association (SGA) Wednesday evening to discuss current and upcoming construction projects on campus.

Oxford Dining Halls: Old and New

Oxford’s new dining hall is nearing its completion and is set to open at the beginning of the spring semester. According to Frady, the architecture of the building will bring new flavor to Oxford’s campus.

“It’s got sort of an old market look,” Frady said. “The open beams and exposed ductwork will give it a really different feel than any other building on campus. … It’s going to be so pretty. I just can’t wait for you to see it.”

According to Frady, the dining hall will have three distinct dining areas, with a different atmosphere for each one. New features include a fireplace and bar-style seating. Dean’s Dining Room will also see new improvements, Frady said. The new private dining room will have a vaulted ceiling and can seat up to 100 people, as opposed to the existing 60-seat dining room.

As of now, the Ox Grill will remain at the same location and operate as it always has, Frady said. The administration is brainstorming potential modifications and looks to morph it into something different over the course of spring semester. For instance, the current salad bar area could be turned into a coffee bar. According to Frady, the current Dean’s Dining Room will become a classroom space, and there will be staff offices in place of the serving stations.

As for the main area of Lil’s, Frady envisions it to become a gathering space for students.

“I think that the highest and best use for this building is a student center,” Frady said. “We’re going to replace all the furniture in the [current] Student Center and move them to the dining hall to give it a nice homey feel.”

Pierce Hall

In addition, Pierce Hall is scheduled to undergo renovations. Upon its completion, the new Pierce Hall will be home to Oxford’s first psychology laboratory with an observation room, an anthropology laboratory, an art studio, a computer classroom, the Mathematics Center, and the Writing Center. According to Frady, it will also provide additional study spaces for students, with numerous work areas and an open foyer for collaboration. During the construction process, Frady believes that noise level would not be an issue.

“Most of this construction is on the interior,” Frady said. “There will be some landscaping, but that will be in the fall of next year. Certainly, we’ll be sensitive to your schedule and Brasfield & Gorrie, the construction firm that built this library, understands the student condition very well, so I’m hopeful that it will be fine.”

Frady emphasized that student interest is the priority.

“These buildings are for you,” Frady said. “They’re not for us – they’re for the future of this college. What we’ve seen when we built the library is that the little study rooms, the places where you can gather in groups of three, four, or five, are the most popular. And that’s what we’re trying to do. We want to provide those spaces in more and more places.”

According to Frady, this project is expected to be completed in Spring 2018.

Pierce Street Corridor

Another construction project on the horizon is the “Pierce Street Corridor.” As the name suggests, this project is focused on beautifying Pierce Street, the entrance to Oxford College. According to Frady, the finished product will include a sign at the entrance, a roundabout to improve the circulation of the Whatcoat Street intersection, and a large visitor map on the side of the street. The parking spaces surrounding the Allen Memorial United Methodist Church will be removed and replaced by newer ones further north, resulting in a net gain of around 20 parking spots.

This construction will begin in March or April and is projected to finish in six months, Frady said.

Other campus construction projects include improving the athletic facilities, adding restrooms to Phi Gamma Hall, and building sidewalks on Moore Street and Emory Street.

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The student news site of Oxford College of Emory University
Admin speaks at SGA meeting, unveils campus construction plans