It has been more than two years since Montclair State University students said goodbye to College Hall as they knew it. The renovation of the 111-year-old building began on June 7, 2017, and while there’s still work to be done, students can expect the construction to finish by next autumn.
University President, Dr. Susan Cole, spoke about what students can expect once it’s finished.
“It is getting a complete makeover and it will be a terrific space for students,” Cole said.
The building served as Montclair State’s original building back when the university was founded in 1908. Once the renovations are complete, it will serve as a one-stop shop for all student services, such as financial aid and advice, academic advice, registrar support and disability accommodations, to name a few.
The building will also contain several administrative offices, including the president’s office, the provost’s office and the vice president for student development.
Professional services are not all the building has to offer. There will also be recreational spots such as a large gathering space, student lounges and study areas. In addition to the indoor spaces, the landscaping around the building will be updated for outdoor gathering.
Students who came to the university before construction began were sad to see Einstein Bros. Bagels go. The popular bagel food chain served as a breakfast spot within College Hall, but it will instead have a Panera Bread, which many students are excited for.
Nick Cherrey, a junior studying audio and sound design, said he’s excited to have a new place to get sandwiches.
“I’m very excited because we don’t have any good places for sandwiches, other than So Deli which is just alright,” Cherrey said. “I feel like Panera will be a great addition to our food on campus.”
Salah Ahmed, a pre-majored sophomore, is also looking forward to the new additions College Hall has to offer.
“I’m glad in general that they are doing new renovations on the old buildings on campus,” said Ahmed. “Just knowing that College Hall is having a Panera is great.”
Jess Metcalf, a senior studying English, also felt Panera would make a good addition, but had some concerns.
“I think that Panera is a good idea, but it’s also going to get very big traffic and it’s probably going to be overpriced,” Metcalf said.
Metcalf also felt disappointed that the building will not be done before she graduates.
“I kind of feel like this has been taking a very long time,” Metcalf said. “I understand things take a while to build, but I started school in 2015 and they built the communications building, the science building and they updated Schmitt Hall and put that new tech building.”
Metcalf compared the renovations to New Jersey road construction.
“I feel like it’s becoming like New Jersey roadways in a way, where it’s never gonna get finished,” Metcalf said.
Despite these concerns, Cole is confident that the project will emerge this summer and be a wonderful addition to the university’s campus.