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SMC freshmen greeted with new developments

Anneliese Woolford | Thursday, August 21, 2003

Development on the Saint Mary’s campus holds great promise for its incoming students, both this year and beyond, as a result of the continuation of the College’s Master Plan.Two main components of the plan are slated for completion by 2007, with a third estimated to be significantly under way. In addition to the recently constructed Noble Family Dining Hall, freshman students will be among the first to utilize a large portion of the Master Plan facilities as they come to fruition.”Saint Mary’s is continuing to move forward in very positive and innovative kinds of ways,” said Linda Timm, vice president for Student Affairs. “This incoming class will really have seen the benefit of the new facilities and how they all tie in together: the variety of places that students will be able to gather, to eat, to socialize and to use technology.”Most incoming students are already aware of the additions that will be made during their time at Saint Mary’s, Timm said. Tour guides have recently been explaining the locations and expected time frame of changes to visiting students and their families. The next two stages of the Master Plan that students can anticipate are the addition of an on-campus, apartment-style housing complex, scheduled for occupancy in fall 2004, and a multi-purpose student center with a projected completion date of January 2005.Groundbreaking for a new academic building is the third phase of the Master Plan that students are likely to see, Timm said, although no date can be set until all funding for the project is received. “The College has secured a significant portion of the funding, but until we have it all committed, we can’t begin that project,” she said.Despite the uncertainty of this third phase of the project, Timm said that Saint Mary’s students will see an unprecedented amount of activity on campus throughout the academic year.”These next 18 months or so are going to be dusty, noisy and, at times, a little inconvenient, but the end result for those first two projects really are going to be such a wonderful addition for our students,” she said.Administrators expect the academic interior of Saint Mary’s to grow along with its physical exterior. Timm said she anticipates the academic curriculum as a whole to expand, providing an increase in programs over the next four years.”I really think we have some great opportunities, not just for students, but for the rest of the college community to experience,” she said. “It’ll be interesting to see how the culture of the campus begins to shift. This class can look forward to a lot of exciting changes.”