Sarah Banks, Staff Writer
With Carson Hall slated for demolition, the college must soon begin planing the construction of a new building. So far, it is unclear just what shape this new building will take. To help with planning, Warren Wilson hired Blake Consulting to determine what specific space the campus needs.
Although, at the time of this report, Blake’s analysis has not been submitted, Dean of Students Deb Myers highlighted some of the findings at the March 22 Student Caucus meeting. Myers declined to be interviewed when The Echo asked for more details about the project.
The consultants first sent out a survey in February and visited the campus in March. They met with a wide variety of students, faculty and staff to discuss what is and is not working on campus.
The first and most urgent need consultants recognized is the need for a student space for community-building. Exactly what that space would look like and whether it would be for studying, socializing or for work crew space has not yet been decided.
The second is the need for mid-sized meeting spaces. The Chapel and Canon Lounge are too big for smaller meetings. Other places, like Mierke, are too small for meetings. The consultants noted the school has numerous outdoor meeting spaces but that these are unavailable in bad weather.
There is also a need for student activity spaces. Both Bryson and Sage Café are too big for smaller activities and Sage Café is often booked with bands.
The last major need is to have a place to get snacks, coffee, or smoothies during the day.
This said, with the loss of Carson, replacing the classrooms and faculty offices is in top priority.
The consultants’ report will also include steps to best use the spaces the college already has. The question is how the consultants’ formal report – which is currently overdue – will influence what the new building will contain. The administration hopes that a new building will be ready for use in three years.