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Campus center lacks satisfaction

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Megan Montalvo
Staff Writer

Efforts to enhance campus life at the University of La Verne are bringing about a much anticipated addition of the Sara and Michael Abraham Campus Center.

Though the center will not be fully completed until the fall of 2009, plans to renovate the campus have been well underway since 2003.

The project plan includes an update to the Sports Science and Athletics Pavilion, an addition of the Frank and Nadine Johnson Family Plaza, named in honor of its primary donor, and the establishment of a three-story campus center, named in honor of Trustee Michael Abraham and his wife, Sara, whose $4 million pledge challenged ULV to raise $16 million for the project. As of now, ULV has raised a total of $17.8 million needed to reach its goal of $21 million to complete the center. The new campus center will feature several lounge areas, a café, bookstore annex, classrooms, a computer lab and other commodities that ULV administration expects will not only offer students a feeling of home but will also create new college experiences that will last a lifetime.

However, with each benefit comes its setback.

ULV students who graduate before 2009 will not be able to experience the center during their term, and the construction that has been taking place in the Sports Science and Athletics Pavilion has caused some conflict with a few sports seasons.

The women’s volleyball season was interrupted last year due to the pavilion renovation, which forced the team to play their home games at facilities in the surrounding Claremont colleges.

“I think the center is going to be really nice, but it’s a little frustrating because our team, and especially the seniors, really wanted to be here for our last season,” said Tiona Hobson, middle blocker on the women’s volleyball team at ULV.

“We regretted that it had to be that way, but there was no other way we could begin construction on the pavilion,” said Jean Bjerke, vice president of university relations at ULV.

Bjerke went on to say that the administration is very pleased with how professional the pavilion now looks, which will be very beneficial to students enrolled in sports classes.

Architects working on the campus project plan to make the most of the available space that the campus has to create an energy-efficient center that promotes personal interaction and a unique forum for exchange of ideas between students and faculty alike.

The Frank and Nadine Johnson Family Plaza is expected to be completed in a few months, which will allow current students to enjoy a little of what the campus center plan has brought to ULV.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the finish product, but as of right now, I’m glad we will be able to use the plaza soon,” said Candess Webster, a junior creative writing major at ULV.

Initial groundbreaking for the Sara and Michael Abraham Campus Center is said to take place in fall of 2007.

Megan Montalvo can be reached at mmontalvo2@ulv.edu.

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