<< Front page News May 14, 2004

College to renovate Wilder

What change may come: Renovations are under consideration for Wilder basement.

The Wilder Renovation Committee will continue meeting next fall to brainstorm ideas for the renovation of Wilder’s basement. The committee, which includes representatives from Campus Dining Services, ResLife and the Student Union, has met once to discuss possible changes.

Matthew Pantell, a student senator on the committee, attended the forum.

“There aren’t any specific proposed changes right now. All that is certain is that the College will be renovating the basement,” Pantell said. “The College is exercising the idea of changing the Rat into an area that serves food such as pizza and sandwiches, and possibly changing the setup of DeCafe,” Pantell added.

The renovation is expected to take place in two to three years. Some minor changes have taken place in the basement in the recent past, but the committee hopes to renovate the entire basement to accommodate the needs of CDS employees. The basement has not undergone drastic remodeling in a long time.

“Eventually, the College would like to renovate all of Wilder,” Pantell said.

The plans will take a while to flesh out, as potential benefits and costs of ideas for each service in the basement are investigated.

“The committee will have to look at the Rathskellar, the ’Sco, and Decafe when considering these changes,” Student Union representative Tina Zwegat said.

Rumors have spread that the committee is planning to incorporate more dining space into the ’Sco. However, no solid plans have been made.
“This is absolutely not correct,” Zwegat said.

The committee only plans to improve on services in the basement without impeding the role of the Student Union. ResLife and the Student Union Board are working closely on the issue to ensure that neither group is sacrificing services.

“The idea is to improve the setup now, not to eliminate any necessary services,” Pantell said.

The forum has discussed a few rough ideas on how to improve the setup of the basement. The Committee plans on incorporating spaces for serving food and student activity space.

Students seemed to agree that the Rat needed to change its services.
“It would be a great idea to make the Rat into a dining area that’s more geared toward students,” first-year Joe Broadus said. “I think they should bring fourth meal back to the Rat.”

However, students should not get their hopes up, as any major renovations will not take place for years.

“There are a few artist renderings of possibilities, but they are just sketches – not architectural plans. They were made to illustrate possibilities, not to suggest them,” Pantell said.

Some students question the necessity of these changes in the face of the college’s financial shortcomings.

“My question is why they feel the need to make these renovations if the money could be put somewhere else,” first-year Emily Green said.

The committee still must evaluate the potential costs of the changes.


The Review News Service: News, weather, sports and more, in your ObieMail every Sunday and Wednesday night. (Click here to subscribe.)