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Building renovations add study space, increase security

Renovations are still underway in buildings 1 and 3. Photos by Saul Rodriguez

By Saul Rodriguez

If you weren’t on campus during the summer, you might have missed the new additions to Buildings 1 and 3. These additions include a new waiting area for students, new offices for the math staff, added space in the Math Learning Center for students, and additional security in both buildings.

The second floor of Building 1 will house a new waiting area for students. “We wanted to make the area more inviting and accessible to students,” Phil Wright, Chemeketa’s director of facilities and operations, said. “Making the area feel like someplace the students are welcome has been a concern expressed by much of the faculty.”

The project also includes increased security such as an emergency lock-down button and a new glass window that will add transparency and openness to the reception area.

The renovations to Building 3 offer math students a new place to study. The Math Learning Center was split into two areas: an area for studying that includes Macbooks for students to use with their Chemeketa ID and an area for testing. Instruction Specialist Svetlana Antonyuk said that “there are students that may not get help in their regular classes so they come here and work on their own assignments. They are able to spend as long as they want on one section or another.”

Along with the Math Learning Center, new offices were also built for the faculty and staff of the Math Department. “The college wants to have the instructors be all together in a central location…it’s good to have everyone nearby,” Leslie Maksun, a Chemeketa math instructor, said. As of right now, construction still is underway on these new offices.

One of the biggest obstacles for these projects were the long lead times on materials. Wright said that this summer marked a sharp increase in construction activity throughout Salem making it difficult to obtain material and labor resources. “Fortunately for the college, we had some outstanding staff and contractors working on the projects,” he said.

Certain renovations are still underway. The installation of the glass window in Building 1 has left a hole exposing the soon-to-be reception area, and the math faculty offices are still under construction. Wright said that the college has “staff [that] is well trained to think creatively and power through those issues.”