It has been three years since Oswego State’s first new building in 35 years opened in October 2006.
In that small amount of time, the Campus Center, featuring state-of-the-art classrooms, an array of culinary options and an abundance of spaces for those looking for seclusion, has become the epicenter of college life at Oswego State.
In its short time of existence, the $25.5 million, 111,492 sq. foot addition has received mostly positive reviews from students and faculty alike.
"The Campus Center is nice. I like how there are lots of places to sit. If you get out of class early there are lots of little alcoves," senior adolescent education major Liz Frye said.
By having the arena, food vendors, and classes all in one building, it "brought the campus closer," senior Dianka Leroux said.
Despite the technological and other contemporary perks associated with the Campus Center, perhaps one of its most cherished attributes may be its ability to give students making their way to the Piez or Rich a brief respite from the brutal winter weather.
"The campus center made walking across campus in the winter a lot easier," senior Maggie Goble said.
The Center has become the headline attraction for a college that continues to update its dated buildings. Between the renovation of Johnson and Riggs, the construction of the Village complex and the future renovation of Piez, Park and Wilbur Halls, the Campus Center has headlined Oswego State’s metamorphosis from a decaying campus to a more advanced college setting.
But not all students agree with how the Campus Center turned out. Some seniors who were around for the days when Hewitt Union was the campus melting pot feel that the Campus Center has not been as ideal as expected.
"The Campus seems branded," senior cognitive science major Elizabeth Trimber said. "Everything is for show, but Hewitt was for the students."
"I like the Campus Center but I miss some of the things that used to be in Hewitt like the 4 to 7 (meal time)," senior meteorology major Stephanie Magin said. "I miss how the college bookstore was all together too."
After three years, administrative officials who had a hand in overseeing the project feel that the Campus Center has unquestionably met the expectations they set forth for the building.
Oswego State Director of Campus Life Richard Hughes agrees that the Campus Center has firmly established itself as the hub of campus activity.
"The design and use of the complex effectively engages students, faculty, staff and visitors in the ever-changing intellectual and social life of the college," Hughes explained. With about 1,000 people moving throughout the building each hour, the Campus Center has become the "central gathering place," he said.
Thomas Simmonds, associate vice president for facilities at Oswego State, explained that the Campus Center allowed culture shift to happen on campus.
"With new students coming in every year and the ever-changing community we live in, the Campus Center allowed for change to take place," he said.
Despite still being the most cutting-edge building at Oswego State, Simmonds said the Campus Center will always be progressing and being updated. New acoustics and signage will be added as the year’s progress.