BY DANIEL ENG
Acting Managing Editor
County College of Morris is realizing a decade-long Facilities Master Plan as students are welcomed with a new learning resource center and renovations to the Health and Physical Education building are nearing completion.
The vice president for Business and Finance Karen VanDerhoof helped coordinate the 2010-2022 Facilities Master Plan, including renovations for both the LRC and the HPE building. According to VanDerhoof, the comprehensive renovations across campus were funded by Chapter 12 thus issued by Morris County, bonds paid for by the county which the state then reimburses 50 percent of the cost. Both student and faculty needs were pri- oritized before any renovations had begun.
“Before we started we surveyed faculty, we surveyed staff and students to see what their needs were and we tried to incorporate all that feedback that we got into the building,” VanDerhoof said. “What we wanted to do was basically make better use of the facility, have it laid out with a lot more sense, have it totally updated…I think we accomplished that with the renovation.” The freedom to charge smart-phones and other devices was only one of the new amenities in- cluded at the request of students, VanDerhoof said.
The Starbucks added was the chief request students put forth for the new library.
“The old unused patio that was out there we were able to enclose and have a nice cafe and convert it into a really nice focal point with awesome views,” VanDerhoof said.
In addition, study rooms and a student conference room are now available for reservation. An art gallery where students can display and host openings for fac- ulty or students has already been received well.
“Overall, everybody seems thrilled,” VanDerhoof said.
New students have expressed their excitement about the new library. First semester psychology major Dana Schweinder said her expectations for the campus and CCM altogether were exceeded.
“I’m really glad I chose this over the county college closer to my house,” Schweinder said. “The library was really nice, I like my professors, I like the friends I made; it’s really nice.”
The renovations to the Health and Physical Education building, which began in May following graduation, are projected to be completed by the end of October, according to VanDerhoof.
“Space is being repurposed so that athletics is separate from exercise science,” VanDerhoof said. “The classrooms have been totally renovated as well. We had water penetration issues in the facility resulting in flaking, the exterior of the building will be reconstructed in areas that need it.”
The new renovations will create team rooms for the athletic teams, individual shower stalls with privacy curtains, updated lockers, an expanded fitness center complete with an adjoined weight room, new batting cages, a new HVAC system and a brand new student lounge, according to VanDerhoof.
“The aquatic facility is also included in the renovation so all of the pool filtration systems are being replaced and upgraded, the tile is being acid-washed and regrouted, [and] the pool decking is being replaced with new tile,” VanDerhoof said.
“The equipment is going to be updated, new touch plates and timers that didn’t exist before are also being installed in the gymnasium, plus a new dance studio and a multi-purpose room is also in there for classes that teach pilates and yoga.”
Student athletes are already expressing excitement for the new renovations. Psychology major and softball player Kathryn Ferrarelli said she’s excited to see how the fitness center is going to look.
“As a sports player you’re going to want to stay in shape after the season and before the season,” Ferrarelli said. “Better machines or more variety of machines, so there’s less wait time would benefit all the athletes and whoever wants to stay in shape.”
Renovations have hit student athletes at CCM hard but that their completion will benefit a lot of people.
“With the new locker rooms and somewhere nice and safe to shower after a sport, it couldn’t be much better,” Martirano said. “I see it benefiting everybody in the future.” Few will see more benefits than the faculty that run the facilities.
Jack Sullivan is beginning his 12th year as athletic director and said it is an extremely exciting time for the athletic department and the entire college.
“The facility upgrade will be an outstanding addition to attract and retain student athletes as well as students in general,” Sullivan said. “It’s going to be great for our teams, the practices, and shows the commitment that this institution has towards athletics and its students.”
Though renovations across campus will continue after the completion of the HPE building, the focus will shift to the open construction site which will be the future home of the Music Tech building. Completion of the new music building will allow repurposing of the classrooms that are dedicated to music now in the academic buildings, according to VanDerhoof.
“The benefit of repurposing space in the academic complex is that faculty right now are really crammed: They share offices, they really don’t have a private space to meet with students, so we definitely want to meet those needs.”