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What’s new on campus: Tri-C home, loft beds and more

The Cross-Cultural Center has a new home. A donor has provided a fountain and a John B. Stetson statue for campus. The Stetson Golf teams have a new practice facility, and on-campus students will be dreaming higher – literally.

Those are just some of the renovations, construction projects and other changes that have occurred on Stetson’s DeLand campus this summer, with most due for completion by Saturday, Aug. 17, when new students move in to residence halls. Here’s a look:

A montage of two photos: in one, the two students pose with the big sign out front, and the two move into the new space.
Past chair of the Multicultural Student Council, Katie Scott, right in each photo, helped get approval for a new home for the Tri-C, and watches as current MSC Chair Tahira Perry unpacks items for the new space. Photos by Faith Jones/Stetson University

Tri-C gets a new home

Advocacy from the Stetson community led to the relocation of the Cross-Cultural Center from 611 Bert Fish Dr. to its new home just down the street at 549 Bert Fish Dr., said Joanne Harris-Duff, director of Diversity and Inclusion.

portrait outside
Joanne Harris-Duff

“After many years of advocacy from student leaders, faculty and staff, the 2018-2019 Multicultural Student Council put together a detailed proposal requesting safety and disability compliance updates” for its former space, “as well as requesting a plan for a new space that was completely ADA accessible, safe and culturally inclusive,” Harris-Duff said.

Katie Scott, past Multicultural Student Council chair, praised President Wendy B. Libby, PhD; Lua Hancock, EdD, vice president for Campus Life and Student Success; and Dean of Students Lynn Schoenberg for their efforts.

“Myself and the past Multicultural Student Council are pleased with the quick response, actions and decisions on their end that have led to this new space for students to enjoy,” she said.

Renovations on the new space include new carpeting, fresh paint and “updates in the kitchen,” said Matt Adair, director of Project and Construction Management with Stetson’s Facilities Management.

Tahira Perry, current MSC chair, noted the “courageous advocators before me” and added, “The news that we’d be gifted with a new inclusive, equipped and safe space for all under-representative minorities on our campus quickly became the highlight of my year. I can’t wait to foster beautiful memories and relationships in our safe space.”

colored lights in the fountain at dusk
The environmentally friendly Templeton Fountain uses a sloping surface to gently drain and collect water from the jets. Then, pumps and filters recycle the water. The only water lost is due to evaporation. Photo by Ciara Ocasio/Stetson

Donor-funded fountain, statue

“This is the first fall with a fully open Carlton Union Building because it was a phased renovation,” said Larry Correll-Hughes, PhD, assistant vice president for Campus Life and Student Success, and executive director of Residential Living & Learning. “It’s going to be truly transformative for our campus.

“A thriving student union building is important for the residential experience and equally, if not more, for the commuter experience,” Correll-Hughes said. “A third of our students commute. The idea of the union is to be their home on campus.”

Final touches included landscaping and the recent debut of the Templeton Fountain on the east side of CUB. Troy Templeton, a Double Hatter and former university Trustee, and his wife Sissy donated the fountain that is visible through the two-story wall of glass in the Lynn Commons Dining Hall.

Two workers stand in the fountain concrete pad with CUB behind them
Robert Engler, center, owner of Crystal Waterscapes in Naples, and Foreman Joel Garcia apply the university seal to the new Templeton Fountain in late July. Photos by Ciara Ocasio/Stetson

A few tweaks remain to be done to the fountain, including adjustments to the water jets and painting the university’s motto, “Pro Deo et Veritate” (“For God and Truth”), on the university seal that decorates the fountain floor, said Adair with Facilities Management.

The environmentally friendly fountain has a sloping surface that drains and collects the water, which is then filtered and recycled. The only water lost is due to evaporation.

The fountain’s rainbow palette of lights also can be hooked up to the sound system, which is controlled by smart phone or iPad via a Bluetooth set-up, “so that the lights will react to the sound and have a really nice effect,” Adair said. The sound system’s speakers are encased in faux stones set amid the landscaping around the fountain.

“I’ve been here at night and seen cars drive by slow and take a look at the fountain,” Adair said. “It’s an attraction. It’s iconic.”

Also iconic will be a new bronze statute of university benefactor John B. Stetson. Also a gift from the Templetons, the statue will be installed between Elizabeth Hall and the Rinker Welcome Center before students move into residence halls on Saturday, Aug. 17.

New Golf Practice Facility goes grass-less

an aerial of a golf course under construction
Pasture land on Marsh Road in DeLand is being turned into a golf practice facility for Stetson teams this summer.

Construction continues on the Stetson Golf Practice Facility on Marsh Road in DeLand, with work on the clubhouse scheduled to begin soon and take approximately six months, Adair said.

When the Stetson men’s and women’s golf teams begin using the “condensed course” for practice, they’ll be playing on artificial turf instead of real grass.

“Most golf courses take a tremendous amount of water, fertilizers and pesticides,” Adair said. “So Jeff Altier (director of athletics) decided he wanted to use artificial turf” to be more environmentally friendly.

“The artificial turf of today is not the same that you and I grew up with,” Adair said. “The rough and the greens feel like real grass and look like real grass.”

The clubhouse building will have “a series of garage doors that will come up so students can hit golf balls in inclement weather out onto the course,” Adair said.

The facility will be used by Stetson’s golf teams only and will not be open to the university’s general population.

Loft beds for residence halls

All student residences except two now have loft beds, which means those beds can be raised to create additional usable space underneath.

Larry Correll-Hughes

“You can loft the beds up high so you can put a desk or dresser underneath,” said Correll-Hughes with Residential Living & Learning. “Even if you loft just one bed in a room, it makes an amazing difference. It gives students flexibility in that space to configure it like they want. It’s really popular, especially in some of our first-year buildings.”

This summer, new loft beds were put in Carson-Hollis, Smith, Gordis and Chaudoin halls. Those beds and ones previously installed in University, Conrad and Nemec halls, as well as the ones in Stetson Palms, Plymouth and Stetson Oaks apartments are all “self-lofting,” meaning those beds contain an apparatus so that students can raise the beds themselves.

Residential Living & Learning has a how-to video for the procedure online, Correll-Hughes said.

Beds in Emily and Hatter halls, as well as in the fraternity and sorority houses, are “loftable,” meaning “maintenance has to bring additional pieces and students put them together,” Correll-Hughes said.

Only University Village and Stetson Cove apartments have non-loftable beds, and that’s because they have full-size beds.

Guard rails for lofted beds “are available upon request,” he said.

New resident assistant offices

In response to requests from resident assistants, Residential Living “created hall offices for our RA’s to be able to have private and more professional conversations with residents, and to have roommate mediations,” Correll-Hughes said. “Most RA’s have roommates. It’s hard to ask a roommate to leave the room so you can have a private conversation to do your job.”

RA offices have been added to University, Emily, Chaudoin, Conrad, Gordis, Smith, Hatter and Nemic halls, and University Village Apartments.

“Not every residence hall has them, but there are some in every area,” Correll-Hughes said.

New roofs for Emily Hall, Edmunds Center and Lee Chapel

exterior of Emily Hall
Emily Hall and other buildings received new eco-friendly metal roofs this summer.

“If you had asked us several years ago about the roof on Emily Hall, it had a good bit of life left to it,” Correll-Hughes said. “However, we had a hurricane named Matthew (in 2016) and a hurricane named Irma (2017) which took more shingles than was OK, and that moved up that roof replacement.”

The Emily Hall roof was replaced this summer, as well as those on Lee Chapel and the Edmunds Center — each with eco-friendly metal roofs.

“We now use metal roofs for sustainability, energy efficiency and overall economy,” Correll-Hughes said. “Metal roofs cost a little more to install on the front end, but they last much, much longer than an asphalt shingle roof in Florida. They reflect the heat better and at the end of their life they are recyclable.”

“Metal roofs last 50 years,” Adair said. “We go right over the top of the asphalt shingles so we don’t have to take those shingles and throw them in the landfill.”

-Rick de Yampert