By Jenna Rodcay
The Hamilton Williams Campus Center received a number of improvements this summer.
Dean of Students Kimberlie Goldsberry, has been a major part of the improvements that span the building and said more “are likely to happen as the year progresses.”
The Benes Rooms received the replacement and replenishment of chairs, allowing for seating of more than 600 people.
Most conference rooms in the building were refurnished and a new conference room, room 233, was added.
According to Goldsberry, rooms are set up in a variety of ways and now offer more than the standard board room style set up.
These conference rooms have also been equipped with additional signage that allows people to easily identify which events are scheduled that day.
“[The improvements] provide a more professional and inviting atmosphere for employers and recruiters,” said Leslie Melton, Director of Career Services. “It makes them want to come back. And when they are impressed [with the facilities] they will be more likely to recruit and hire our students.”
The atrium has also seen improvements. It will feature an up-to-date sound system that will be available for programs and events held at noon, in the evenings and on weekends.
“Student organizations will be more likely to use the atrium because the sound improvement will enhance their programming,” said Nancy Rutkowski, assistant director of Student Involvement for Leadership.
Senior Clare Whitaker, president of the Spirit and Homecoming Organization, said she agreed the new sound system makes the atrium more attractive for programming but finds the conference rooms to be one of the more important improvements.
“I think it’s a great way for clubs and organizations to improve their meetings,” Whitaker said. “You are in a comfortable and professional space, making it more official and the space is more suitable for the necessary projects clubs and organizations will embark upon.”
The end tables and study tables on the first and second floor atrium areas were replaced, as well as some of the benches in those areas.
The benches on the lower level of HamWil were replaced with high-top cabaret tables.
Goldsberry said these tables allow more functional use of the space and has already noticed students taking advantage of them.
Many students were unaware of the changes but said they were pleased after being told about the improvements.
Freshman Matt Sapp said he finds the new furniture to be a lot more comfortable and functional.
Junior Nick Ehlers said the old benches were awkward and the “new tables are good for small study sessions.”
According to Goldsberry, all furnishings that were removed were either “repurposed in other locations on the OWU campus or donated to the local Habitat for Humanity Store.”
Ashel G. Bryant (’47), was a member of the OWU Tower Society, a group for donors who leave their estates to the University.
Bryant passed away in September of 2010, leaving a donation that led to the improvements throughout the building.
According to Craig Ullom, vice president for student affairs, gifts such as Bryant’s allow the university to make improvements without putting them off or spending tuition money.