With the coming of a new president and a new academic year, the long march toward a new Baxter Hall has taken on a new energy and sense of progress. Nancy Roseman, dean of the College, who serves as co-chair of the Baxter Renovation Committee with David Johnson, assistant dean of the College, expressed excitement about the far-reaching implications of a major overhaul of Baxter.
“In renovating this building, this student center, it is important to keep in mind that it is used by the entire community,” Roseman said. “In thinking about this building we want to create spaces that allow for interaction between all members of our community.”
Although discussions are still at a very preliminary stage, committee members have inherited the general thinking about student life from the past few years and have started to synthesize it with their own ideas for the future of Baxter. The project will unquestionably be one of the most important at the College in the near future, as any significant changes to Baxter will affect several sectors of the institution.
Baxter is the keystone both in the flow of daily student life and in the disposition of dining services throughout the campus. A parade of college and student organizations are based in Baxter, and the building itself sits upon one of the most visible sites on campus.
Roseman characterized Baxter as “the geographic center of campus” and said that, because of its location, “it serves as a destination and a meeting place at the crossroads of the flow of people across campus.”
She said the committee is “looking at a complete renovation of the existing building,” and it is also considering the possibility of expanding the space. Whatever the final result, “planning for Baxter has to be coordinated with other building projects, such as Stetson, Sawyer and the theatre and dance project, and fit into the entire strategic plan.”