Muhlenberg College Breaks Ground on Seegers Union Expansion
Second round of renovations addresses
critical needs for dining and student work space.
June 4, 2009
A small group of faculty, staff, and students gathered along with members of the Board of Trustees on April 24 for an intimate ceremony to commemorate the groundbreaking of the new Seegers Union expansion.
Originally designed in 1961 when approximately 1,200 students were enrolled, Seegers Union quickly became the heart of Muhlenberg’s beautiful campus. Increased enrollment and over-use of facilities over the last decade have made the need for expansion critical.
The College’s Strategic Plan outlines two phases of renovations, the first of which was completed in 2006. The second phase, slated to begin in May 2009, was almost derailed by trying economic times and a turbulent market. Fortunately, Muhlenberg’s long term bond ratings were re-affirmed by both Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s Rating Service, and the project was approved at the April meeting of the Board of Trustees. “Staff members, students and trustees agreed that delaying this project was simply not an option. The fact that it will be both functional and beautiful is a win-win situation for the entire Muhlenberg campus community,” explains President Randy Helm.
After months of surveys and focus groups, a steering committee comprised of administrators, faculty, staff and students developed a vision statement focusing on a unique dining experience as well as centralized resources and facilities for more than 100 recognized student organizations on campus. According to Glenn Gerchman, Director of Seegers Union and Campus Events, “The Seegers Union expansion project is really a reflection of our students and the campus community. The expansion will serve to enhance an already successful ‘campus living room’ atmosphere, fostering chance encounters among students, faculty, staff and our local community and supporting an environment of co-curricular learning.”
Highlights of the expansion include a full Student Life suite with offices and conference spaces for the Student Government Association, as well as a Media Center to house publications such as the Ciarla, the Weekly and the Advocate. The new dining room and enhanced food preparation areas will “provide a more congenial dining atmosphere and more robust offerings of kosher, vegetarian, international and organic cuisine – all increasingly important to Muhlenberg students. This project will also convert the existing Garden Room into a much needed event and performance venue, expand the bookstore and complete the campus' West Quadrangle (bordered on its other three sides by Brown and Taylor Halls and the new science building),”describes Helm. “The west end of campus will be immeasurably improved, as will the quality of life for our students.”
Chosen from a pool of submissions, Helm says “the design we have developed in consultation with architectural firm Bruner/Cott and Associates and construction manager Alvin H. Butz, Inc. is a knockout.” Construction is scheduled for completion by fall 2010.
Naming opportunities for the Seegers Union expansion project are available at a variety of levels. For more information, contact the Office of Development and Alumni Relations at 484-664-3247 or firstname.lastname@example.org.