By Amanda Lavergne
As students returned to the Marist campus this spring, there was a noticeable gap where sophomore housing Benoit and Gregory once stood. This is to make way for the Hancock Center, which will house the latest in technology and give Marist an edge to attract more students and be on top of the latest technological resources.
“The Hancock Center will be a 54,000-square-feet academic center containing smart classrooms, a 250-seat presentation center, seminar rooms, research space, computer labs, and a data center,” said Tim Massie, Chief Public Affairs Officer. “It will consolidate Marist’s technology research, teaching, and training activities while strengthening the College’s expertise in the several technology areas in and out of the education field.”
Massie also said that the Center will be the new home of the School of Computer Science and Mathematics, which will open more space for the School of Communication and the Arts in Lowell Thomas.
Although the Hancock Center sounds promising, some students are skeptical of how the Hancock Center will benefit students of all majors.
Sophomore Michelle Francesconi, a Business major, doesn’t think that the Center will affect her directly.
“I’m honestly not that excited for it because I feel that it will only benefit people who are majoring in Math and Science,” said Francesconi.
The Hancock Center will also offer opportunities for students and faculty to interact more in a social setting.
“There will be some nice congregating space, including a new cafe/student lounge and an outdoor patio. And, of course, there will be spectacular Hudson River views,” said Massie. “The building was designed by one of the greatest architects in the country today, Robert A.M. Stern, dean of the Yale School of Architecture. It will be one of the signature buildings on campus and complement the Cannavino Library in style and function.”
Ellen Hancock, who is on the board of Trustees, donated $5 million for the building to be built and Marist is also receiving financial support from New York State.
Massie added that Marist is committed to break ground for the Center in May and that it should be up and running by Fall 2010.