Grace Newton

The Carol Jenkins Barnett Center for Early Childhood Learning and Health was officially dedicated on Feb. 21.

This new building is located on the northwest corner of campus, and it has two parts. One side, the Carol Jenkins Barnett Health and Early Learning Center, will house the preschool. Curry Education, the other side, will contain all of FSC’s education classes. The dedication of the building will take place on Feb. 21, with hopes to move classes into the building the following week.

Terry Dennis, Vice President of Finance and Administration, explained that the education department has gotten bigger, and therefore required a move. 

Stephanie Hansen, junior elementary education and Spanish major thinks that the new building will be positive for both the education department and the FSC Preschool Lab.

“Part of learning to teach is learning to use technology in the classroom,” Hansen said. “A new building means more advanced and reliable equipment to work with.” 

Hansen especially appreciates the new location near the Roberts Academy, as education majors shadow and teach there often.

“Many of the education classes are designed to provide hands-on experience by working with students,” Hansen said. “The new location is going to make connecting with elementary and middle school students easier.”

Edge Hall, where the education department is currently housed, will not stay empty.  A different group will inhabit the building come next fall, but Dennis said the decision will be made over the summer.

   Also located in that corner of campus, an extension of Roberts Academy is in the works across the street. This new building will function as a middle school, allowing the second through fifth grades to be separated from the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades; this will also make space for a larger number of students.

   “We started planning it about six months ago,” Dennis said. “The donor saw there was a real need to bring more students in.”

 While he hopes to have this building open for the beginning of next fall, Dennis admitted the schedule is a bit tight. 

   The fall also promises new apartment buildings. The first building in the Star Apartments opened earlier this semester, with two other buildings still under construction. Almost an exact duplicate of the Garden Apartments, these apartments are allowing for more students to be housed. The second building should be finished before the end of the semester, and the third by late June. Due to the shape of the buildings, Star Apartments will be able to house more students than Garden. Dennis also thinks these apartments will be popular because of its larger parking lot.

“When the other buildings were all built, city code was one and a half cars per apartment,” Dennis said. “With us, if it’s a three-bedroom apartment, you have three students, and all three might have cars. So, we tend to have heavier parking use than a regular apartment.”

Dennis said that they knew they needed the apartments a year and a half ago, as more students wanted to be on campus. However, planning and construction takes time.

 “Once you see dirt moving, it’s probably been in plans for an average of six to eight months,” Dennis said.

 There is other construction planned for the next year. Currently, workers are doing all the site work for the Carole and Marcus Weinstein Computer Sciences Center, located between the France Admissions Center and the Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise. Dennis has hopes that the foundation will be poured in the next two weeks.

Computer science started a few years ago with a really small group, but they’re growing rapidly and there’s a demand for them,” Dennis said. “The things they use, we don’t necessarily have in another building.” 

This building has been in the works for about a year and half, and Dennis hopes for it to open around this time next year. However, with it being so early in construction, he cannot guarantee anything.

New ideas for construction are always happening, but Dennis is unsure what will be next. While many groups have a need for new spaces there are many factors involved, including outside support and locations.

“We’re always looking at majors and changes that are going on,” Dennis said. “We have a large pile of things that would be possible.”

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