On campus, here at West Chester, we are pretty lucky, but at the same time, we’re stifled with complaints about our on-campus environment. We enjoy a relatively up-to-date campus for as little as about $6000. Temple goes for about twice that, Drexel starting at four-fold and University of Penn almost six-fold.
Granted, West Chester was suffering through difficulties before Madeleine Wing Adler’s 16 years.
Public Safety was non-existent, music students didn’t have a building shaped like a musical instrument and West Chester was JUST a party school.
Now high school students are saying, “I don’t have the grades for West Chester.”
This week, The Quad updated us on the residence hall construction project, which shockingly for West Chester standards, is on time and on budget. Surprise, surprise, 25 University Ave. is open.
When it comes to our older residence halls, they are one of the worst living-learning facilities in the state. Luckily, West Chester’s news residence halls, ETA Fall 09, are planned to be as good as any. The new project will be the largest in the state system.
A price tag of $80 million for a pair of buildings is lofty, but West Chester is not absorbing a penny other than the eyesore that is the former Residential Quad. West Chester University won’t have the financial strain of building six world-class facilities, so in principle, they can use their money for other purposes.
Lets look at the past few projects. SOMPAC opened in spring of 2007 and gave West Chester’s prestigious music program a proud home despite its museum-like feel.
Remodeled 25 University Ave. has taken an old classic and morphed it to 21st century appeal.
West Chester’s need for the big-time, throw-down, best facilities imaginable leads us to wonder why our best athletic program plays in a high school gymnasium.
Ok, not literally, but Hollinger Field House is over 50 years old, and older than all the dorms on campus.
Pucillo Gymnasium, home to one of West Chester closest rivals Millersville, fills up for all their games, male and female. There are even fans heckling the opposing team: the true definition of home-field advantage.
Deep down, West Chester Athletics crave fan presence to attend every sport, but how can three of West Chester’s programs thrive in a recruiting hole in the ground.
Although many at this institution overlook the women’s basketball program, over the last 10 years it has been the most successful, missing the playoff only once in 2006.
The staple of any program is location and somehow legendary coach Deirdre Kane has managed to recruit to par with any program in this division. However, when she hangs it up, the last thing anyone wants to see is the most prestigious WCU athletic program, over the past 15 years, fall to its rivals.
This isn’t meant to disrespect a great building, Hollinger will always have its place in WCU history for its unique architecture and classic feel, but eventually we have to go out with the old and in with the new.
West Chester: keep doing what you’re doing, making this University more attractive to students. Build you student body a new field house that students will want to go and cheer. Give West Chester student-athletes what they have played their careers for and what they deserve.