Students vote on new Davies location

The Davies Redevelopment Committee met on Tuesday to get student input for site location of the future student center.

The option of using the current Davies Center is not a front runner, but rather two other choices an architect team has drafted.

Student Senate President Tim Lauer said that of the possible locations, “site two” would be situated on the open green space near the nursing building and the current Davies, and is considered the “crossroads” of the campus. This would provide more green space and would include the Little Niagra area.

Lauer said the other location, “site three,” would connect Zorn to Schneider Hall where the Campus School (Brewer Hall) currently is located and would act as the “gateway” of the campus.

All of the reconstruction is being paid for by students through segregated fees, Lauer said, at an estimated cost of $48.8 million.

Participants of the meeting voted on several issues using iClickers so their votes were anonymous. Some of the issues voted on were the importance of having a single bus stop, preserving nature and green space, promoting evening activities, the impact the site would have on parking and the proximity to upper-campus. The voting was simply a survey on what was important to students, but nothing has been decided from it yet.

Of the issues voted on, the most discussed were maintaining green space and parking on campus. While it is not for certain, site two would probably create fewer parking spaces in the lot south of the current Davies, but create more of a campus mall.

“We don’t want to make it an urban, concrete jungle; we want to maintain that green space,” Chancellor Brian Levin-Stankevich said. While parking is expected to be an issue in the future, Levin-Stankevich played with the notion of adding a parking ramp, though it’s financially unlikely.

While the selection of the site is the next important step in the redevelopment process, it’s likely that an education building will be built in the location not selected for the new Davies center.

Senior Meghan Keyes, a chair-person in the Student Life and Diversity Committee of Student Senate, thought the meeting was interesting but questioned how much of an impact her opinions have on the actual site location.

“I just don’t always feel like our administration is the most student-friendly,” Keyes said. “They let us into our meetings but then when we talk (they think) ‘OK they’re just students.'”

Green space is one of the more important issues for Keyes, so she likes “Site two.”

“There’s so many factors to put in,” she said. “I think either way, as long as they keep the green space.” Keyes said she hasn’t completely made up her mind but likes the green space “site two” allows.

Levin-Stankevich said he appreciates the student input and hopes for more students to participate in further meetings.

“We want a signature building,” he said, “we want it to be used.”