John Cerrotti ‘17
Is the new residential village on Austin Field still happening? So far, students have been kept out of the loop on the status of the new residential halls. We have all heard that there are plans to build, but other than that, we know nothing. During the beginning month of school, there were wooden stakes in the ground for zoning purposes that have since been removed. Besides the one email we received from President Hopey at the start of the academic year, there has been no word on whether or not the project is still happening. In the email, the community was told that the college still planned on going through with the additions to campus which would feature a residential village with 350 beds, new student commons with dining availabilities, student activities and game space and offices for student involvement staff. However, none of that has happened.
The expansions to campus have a lot of students talking and when traveling through campus, there are a lot of mixed opinions on the new space. A majority of students are excited about the new residential village and other options that are being added. Sophomore Kaitlyn Magnano is excited about the new additions to campus. “By adding more residential halls, more students can be accepted into the school which would make the community grow. Also, there would not be the need to force triples all over campus and overpopulate existing residential halls.” However, there are those who think that the new residential halls are not a good idea. Senior Kelianna Bonn chose Merrimack College because of the small feel that it offered. “I really do not believe we should add new residential buildings. A lot of people chose this school for the small community feel. Building more dorms means accepting more students which ultimately means a bigger community.” Bonn believes that the issue is a bigger one, and the answer to fixing problems within is not bringing more students on campus. Regardless of the differing of opinions, no one really knows what is happening. All we have now is the one email and rumors circulating including the current townhouses being knocked down and replaced by new residential halls, and new academic buildings on Austin Field.
Stay tuned to The Beacon for more information regarding this story.