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New Labs, Locales Usher in New Semester

Building Projects Update Campus Look

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The new anatomy and physiology instructional lab at Weed Hall helps accommodate the growing health sciences enrollment.

By Jill Gambon

Renovated classroom space, a new state-of-the-art anatomy and physiology lab, a Writing Center and the debut of one of the world’s most popular coffee shops at Lydon Library are some of the changes students and faculty will notice on campus this semester.

The projects, which are spread out across campus, are expanding opportunities for hands-on, active learning and continue the transformation of the University’s landscape.

“These improvements are part of the ongoing implementation of our campus master plan to provide world-class facilities and in-demand amenities for our students and faculty,” says Vice Chancellor for Finance and Operations Joanne Yestramski. 

The updates come at a time of unprecedented growth on campus. To meet the rising demand for everything from classroom space to dorm rooms, the University has opened six new buildings in the past 18 months. And work is proceeding on the 230,000-square-foot University Crossing student engagement center that is rising up over the Merrimack River. The building will offer one-stop student services, a flagship campus bookstore, food court, space for student clubs and organizations, administrative offices and more. 

New Space to Study, Learn and Collaborate

At Weed Hall on South Campus, two second-floor classrooms have been combined into a new 1,445-square-foot instructional lab for anatomy and physiology classes. The lab is outfitted with new benches, sinks, tables, storage cabinets and an audio-visual system and will help accommodate the growing health sciences enrollment.

At Dugan Hall, first-floor offices vacated by staff moving to the University Crossing complex have been renovated into two classrooms and a seminar room.  The History Department, which had been spread out in different buildings, has moved into centralized space in Dugan’s suite 106. Across the street at Mahoney Hall, a television studio has been added for a new TV production class.

Inside O’Leary Library, the third floor has been transformed, with a new Writing Center that offers space for tutoring and meetings. Adjacent to the Writing Center is 1,500 square feet of new Learning Commons space where students can collaborate on group projects, study independently and conduct research. It is replete with new furniture and computer terminals and upgraded wireless internet access.

Changes Brewing on North Campus

A full-service Starbucks has opened in renovated space at Lydon Library. Located next to the DifferenceMaker Central office in a former basement storage area, the sleek, new eatery offers an expansive menu of sandwiches, pastries and drinks. With plenty of seating, customers can grab a coffee or bite to eat and warm up next to the gas fireplace. Outside, the renovated plaza offers exterior seating with heating during cool weather and year round views across the Merrimack River.

Also new to Lydon this semester is the IT Help Desk, which moved from the first floor of Olsen Hall. That space is being renovated into classrooms.

And if you’re looking for Advancement and Alumni Relations, they have moved out of Southwick Hall on North to offices at the new Alumni Center on Perkins Street and to the Wannalancit Business Center on East Campus.