When the provost announced that Yost would be toast in a couple years and that a new sciences building would replace it, we had mixed feelings.
We are fortunate to be an innovative community constantly building, but we must remember that many small improvements to current structures can easily outweigh a large-scale project.
The provost didn’t mention anything about Mather Quad renovation projects. We wonder if that’s because some administrators believe Mather Quad isn’t a high priority nor a selling point on paper.
But the Mather Quad is in dire need of repairs and renovations. For many students, this location represents the go-to place between classes, not to mention the many classes that occur in the quad themselves. To ignore this quad is to ignore a major portion of the student body at Case Western Reserve University.
The Editorial Board is concerned by the constant state of construction in the Mather Quad and appeals to the university to prioritize financial resources for the Mather Quad renovation before large projects. We are calling for a Mather Quad revival, something we hope administrators can be just as excited for as a new building.
Guilford House, Mather Memorial Building and Haydn Hall are in dire need of modern lighting fixtures. Haydn Hall does not have an elevator, which is inappropriate by any modern standards for inclusivity on a college campus. Guilford House particularly requires better functioning heating and air conditioning systems to make classes bearable. The mentioned buildings all have pest problems to varying degrees.
Classrooms have not been renovated for some time in most of the Mather Quad buildings. It’s disconcerting that the very rooms at the foundation of education at any university are now behind the times at CWRU.
Instead of vital changes, the university is simply planning to repair Guilford’s porch over the summer. The current changes to Clark Hall are nothing more than changes to the exterior. The mistaken mindset that addressing aesthetic over function is sufficient is what plagues construction finance decisions at CWRU.
Instead of addressing appearance of a porch or the side of a building, we should be addressing problems that directly affect students’ use of the buildings.
The construction on Clark Hall this and last semester and on the Peter B. Lewis Building were funded through the “maintenance operating budget,” which funds ongoing needs and upkeep, and also the “working capital” budget, used for small-scale renovation or equipment and books .
These budgets will not be sufficient for the entirety of Mather Quad. The university should conduct active fundraising that focuses on these needs. We also admit that it is more difficult to fundraise money for existing buildings over new buildings, but simply raising as much money as possible should not be the goal. Instead, funding needs be raised on a large scale for renovation, building by building, on the Mather Quad, with each building’s revitalization as the end goal.
All students, studying all majors, should be able to utilize classroom and facilities which are kept up-to-date.