Written by: Matthew Orquia
Southern Adventist University’s campus continues to evolve as renovation, landscaping and construction projects take place campus wide.
Some of these projects include updating the sidewalk between the student dorms and Wright Hall, starting construction on an upcoming patio behind Talge Hall and changing the campus’ landscape. These endeavors are part of a plan to maintain the campus and keep it moving toward the future, according to Marty Hamilton, associate vice president of financial administration.
“What we like to see is vibrancy and activity of improving the campus,” Hamilton stated.
Hamilton believes it is important to focus on the look and feel of campus because of the proven impact these two characteristics have on visiting students and families. He said families enjoy seeing that Southern’s campus has more than just classrooms.
“We know from surveys, and exit interviews, that the appearance of the campus when a student and their family shows up for the first time sets the biggest impression,” Hamilton said. “When they come to campus for the first time, we want to capture their attention.”
The value placed on first impressions is also the reasoning behind recent landscaping changes made to Southern’s campus, especially in the parking lot of Talge Hall and near Mabel Wood Hall, according to Hamilton. Trees that previously lined Mabel Wood Hall were removed. Hamilton also said that additional trees were cleared and other alterations made to increase visibility of the Southern sign from the road.
“The future of the campus is capturing that attention,” Hamilton said. “We want you to see our Southern sign; we want you to see some kind of stately building.”
Hamilton said the university is also planning to construct a new building for the School of Business by the Talge Hall parking lot and near the digital Southern sign.
Interior renovation is also occurring on Southern’s campus, and construction continues on the inside of Wright Hall. The fourth floor of Wright Hall, the area of the old student center, is being updated. Southern’s Advancement Department will move there from their previous position on the second floor of Lynn Wood Hall. The old Student Development office in Wright Hall will be repurposed into the new Human Resources office. Additionally, some of the restrooms in Wright Hall are being updated.
“Those are the original restrooms to this building when it was built in the 60s, so we’ve gutted them, and [we’re] going to make them just look better,” Hamilton said.
He added that President Ken Shaw has been the driving force behind these efforts to improve campus.
“Dr. Shaw, I think, has been a great influence stepping in last year. He’s very supportive of the facilities and keeping the campus looking well,” Hamilton said. “ … He has been kind of really inspirational in [saying], ‘Look, let’s take charge of the campus and keep things looking good.’”