In a few short months, Murray-Herrick Campus Center will begin to empty out as Student Affairs and Auxiliary Services staff relocate to the new Anderson Student Center; however, Murray-Herrick won’t be empty for long.

Data show a central, easily accessible location for offices that provide important services to students, such as Financial Aid and the Registrar, tend to boost retention and graduation rates. As such, three years ago, the Campus Space Advisory group was charged with making Murray-Herrick a new student services and classroom building – a vision that will soon become reality.

Regular meetings with student service departments and others began two years ago with a goal to map out the best possible reassignment and use of the vacated MHC. Driven by available funding, preparations for this reassignment have begun and will result in the beginnings of a new student services and classroom building as well as new-use guidelines for remaining spaces in MHC until reassignment of all vacated spaces is complete.

MHC Reassignment Phase One

The first phase of the MHC reassignment process will begin on or about Feb. 1, 2012, and will result in the following reassignment and usage changes.

Classrooms

  • Two technology-smart standard-size student classrooms will be created on the east side of the old Grill space on first floor MHC.
  • The old Student Cafeteria on second floor MHC will be converted into two large and two standard-size classrooms – all equipped with technology.

Student Services

  • The old Dean of Students and Campus Ministry office suites on first floor MHC are slated to become the Card Office (moving from second floor MHC) and Business Office (moving from first floor AQU) suite.
  • The west side of the old Grill space on first floor MHC is slated to become the Registrar’s Office (moving from first floor AQU).
  • The old Campus Life offices on first floor MHC are slated to become the Academic Counseling (moving from first floor OEC) suite.
  • The Blue Lagoon space in the center of first floor MHC will become a common student waiting area.

Usage Changes for Remaining Unassigned Spaces

  • Rogge-Leyden and O’Donnell dining rooms on second floor MHC are slated to become meeting rooms and be online in R25 and Web Viewer for scheduling.
  • MHC meeting rooms 152, 154, 155, 160, the Fireside Room and MHC 304 will remain online for scheduling and meeting use until the second phase of MHC reassignment begins (possibly as early as summer 2012).
  • Please note that between now and the second phase of MHC reassignment, types of food service to all remaining meeting rooms in MHC may be limited and, like McNeely, will likely involve delivery fees; however, meeting rooms with full food service options will be available in the new Anderson Student Center.

We anticipate MHC renovation, construction and moving work for this first phase to commence on or about Feb. 1, 2012, and to be completed by Aug. 1, 2012, in time for start of school in fall 2012. Planning to fill Aquinas spaces vacated by departments moving to MHC in this first phase also is  under way.

MHC Reassignment Phase Two

The second phase of MHC reassignment also is under way and continues to complete the student services building vision, driven by available funding. This phase, as currently planned, could begin as early as summer 2012 and likely will include the following usage changes in some remaining vacated MHC spaces.

Student Services

  • The north side of Murray-Herrick first floor, including the old Multicultural Student Services, International Student Services, the Vice President for Student Affairs, CILCE offices and 152, 154, 155 and 160 meeting rooms, are slated for Financial Aid (moving from third floor AQU).
  • The north side of Murray-Herrick second floor, including Auxiliary Services offices, Rogge-Leyden dining rooms, and the Fireside Room are slated for Admissions (moving from 32 Finn).
  • The old lower level MHC spaces (with the exception of the Bookstore, which will remain in MHC) are currently slated for Information Resources and Technologies (moving from lower levels of AQU and OEC).

Planning to fill vacated third floor AQU, AQU lower level and 32 Finn is in progress and currently involves, among other things, replacing MHC meeting rooms lost in this second phase as well as the possible creation of a Faculty Resources Center.

MHC Reassignment Phase Three

The final phase for the MHC reassignment, which assigns remaining available spaces on second and third floors of MHC, also is dependent upon available funding. Plans are still very tentative for specific reassignments.

While these three phases are understandably driven by available funding and, as such, spread out over a couple of years, our primary goal is to make immediately vibrant and visible use of vacated MHC spaces driven by more proximate and, therefore, convenient services to our students and to enhance the already impressive retention and graduation rates St. Thomas enjoys.

Please feel free to contact any of the Campus Space Advisory group co-chairs with questions or concerns: