James Commons to be renovated

Since arriving back to campus from winter break, many may have noticed that the James Commons Center and Curtin Special Events Room have been under construction. The James Commons Center and Curtin Special Events Room are connected and have mainly been used for campus events, high school science Olympiad competitions, weddings, and other events.

“We are renovating it so that we could use the space more since it was getting old,” says John Haley, director of campus life and leadership.

The Curtin Special Events room was part of the original Dining Center, which was built in 1962. However the Curtin Special Events room was renovated in 1999 when the James Commons Center was built. The Curtin Special Events room is named after Michael and Kathleen  Curtin, members of class of 1962 and James Commons Center is named after John and Marie Green, both members of the class of 1966 James for their generous support as well.  

According to library archives, when James Commons Center was opened in 1999, the room was meant to be an area for “great” social gatherings and events. In addition to being a new location for campus events, it also became the new location of the Dolphin Den. Originally on the first floor of Grewen Hall, the Dolphin Den moved into the James Commons in 1999.

The Den remained in James Commons until 2012, when the current location was built in Grewen Hall again.

From 2012 until this year, the James Commons Center and the Curtin Special Events room has been used for various campus events including accepted students days, club gatherings, and dinner events.

Many students have expressed excitement about the renovations, saying it could be a positive change for students.

“It was definitely outdated, but I never really used the room,” said sophomore Rachelle Walters.  “However I am excited to see what it will look like.”

Junior Courtney Case said she’s is also excited about the completion of the project.

“It seemed pretty formal and didn’t have much decoration throughout it,” said Case.

According to the photo of the plans of what the space will look like, there will be better visibility and new technology added. New floors and lighting will be installed. Also a hardwood ceiling will be put in as well.

Jim Dishaw, senior director of facilities management and planning says the cost of the renovations is $1.2 million. According to Dishaw, the renovations are scheduled to be completed on March 7th of this year.