Admissions Undergoes Renovations

Kelsey Soderberg

The Office of Admission in James B. Colgate Hall is undergoing extensive renovations this winter.  Funded by generous donations from Dan Hurwitz ’86 and Ellie Hurwitz P’17 as well as numerous other donors, visitors to Colgate’s campus will be greeted by entirely updated multi-media displays, enlarged waiting areas and more modern-looking welcome desks.

As one of the more outdated buildings on campus, the Office of Admission is being revamped to better show prospective students and their families what it is really like on Colgate’s campus as a student. The renamed Hurwitz Admission Center in James B. Colgate Hall will feature more modern technological advances and an improved layout for visitors.

“This new space will allow us to present information about Colgate to visitors, beyond what they hear in a 40-minute information session or a tour, through a variety of digital platforms,” Senior Associate Dean of Admission Karen Giannino said.

The plans include a digital media board displaying photos of campus and interactive videos in the waiting areas as well as the lobby.

Some have criticized the plans for altering a historic and traditional building with a contemporary interior design, but Giannino explains that the plans have balanced the past and the future quite nicely.

“The architects are experts at not only preserving the history of the building, but also putting us in the present and future,” Giannino said. “We want to show people that Colgate is a place preparing its students for the future, not just preserving the relics of the past. We’ve changed the outdated features of the building but preserved the most important ones.”

One of those key features is the grand staircase facing visitors as they walk into the building. As Giannino states, the staircase will remain a focal point of the updated structure.

The previous layout of the Office of Admission also had problems with day-to-day functions. The plans include replacing the main side doors with a more centrally located one, as well as an outdoor patio for visitors to enjoy as they leave the building.

“The space doesn’t really function well for us the way it is right now,” Giannino said. “With the change, it’s better traffic flow for visitors and is a more inviting and identifiable entry from the parking lot.  Right now there is no sign telling visitors that this is the Admissions office, so people get very lost.”

Lastly, the architects plan to make two waiting areas with large glass windows, allowing for visitors to enjoy the view of Colgate’s campus, all while eating their traditional Chipwhiches after the tour.

Construction is currently proceeding and is expected to be complete by early March, making it available to accepted students in the prime visitation period.

“We hope that this new Admission center will enhance the conversation between Colgate and its prospective families,” Giannino said. “We want to be able to introduce people to the things that make Colgate distinctive and to help them envision how Colgate will positively affect their lives. We want to be memorable.”

Contact Kelsey Soderberg at [email protected].