Opinion: More campus building renovations should begin

Barbara Kuznetsova

Over the summer, the first floor of many students’ favorite buildings, Ames Library, has been partially renovated. The tenderly loved library became even more beautiful. Although the administration has done a great job, students’ hopes about other buildings getting renovated are far from being implemented. There are several buildings on campus that could use some renovation, and the most impressive but depressive case is the Presser Hall. 

Although the leaking roof was replaced, the condition of the building is close to being tragic. The air conditioning and heating systems create either extremely cold or hot temperatures in the rooms. Practice rooms themselves are tiny and muggy; their uninviting nature makes it difficult to effectively practice in them. Some rooms even require repainting or a change of carpets. 

Residence halls should be taken into account as well. A few dorms are very nice, such as Ferguson and Munsell halls, but the majority of them are not. Gulick Hall contains muggy hallways with cinder blocks that make living there utterly uncomfortable. 

Sometimes breathing with a mask on is easier and more pleasant than without. Built in 1956, Gulick is in dire need of renovations. In Dolan Hall, the kitchen got condemned because it was too old and became dangerous. No need to say how inconvenient that is. 

Scarcely any building has gender-neutral bathrooms, and if there is one, there are no showers. It puts members of LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, plus) community in an uncomfortable situation. IWU positions itself as an LGBTQ+ ally, and the amount of people that identify themselves in that community is prominent, but the fact there are only a few gender-neutral bathrooms on the whole campus is extremely tragic. 

It is hard to find money for massive renovations. Especially nowadays, the safety of students on-campus should be the university’s top priority. The administration at IWU keeps helping and supporting students financially. Throughout these two years, many families suffered from COVID-19 and its consequences.

 Like so many schools and businesses, , this awful disease created additional charges for IWU due to the fact that safety and lives of students became a top priority. The need for continuous disinfection of rooms became vital, as well as necessity for refills of antibacterial gels installed throughout our campus. 

During this difficult time, IWU provided financial support to families that suffered from COVID-19, including local and international students.

I understand that it is difficult for IWU to fund renovations during this hard and unstable time. Many people have suffered because of COVID-19, and it is very important that IWU provides support for families in need. Still, it is essential for several buildings to get renovated because some of them are extremely old, and in future, may become dangerous to live in. Especially taking into consideration the need for student retention and maintaining high enrollment, it is crucial that such buildings on campus be improved.  Although the administration has done an impressive job with supporting students and renovation of Ames Library, there are more buildings that need attention once IWU comes back from COVID-19.