The grass is growing back and the caution-tape fences bordering the
sidewalks are slowly coming down. Soon you will barely be able to tell that
just days before Freshmen Welcome Days, Shay and Loughlen halls and the
Hickey Dining Hall were receiving some final touch ups as part of a major,
summer-long renovation project.
Last semester, Sister Margaret Carney, university president, announced that
St. Bonaventure received an $8 million tax-exempt state bond for the
renovations. Construction was scheduled to begin immediately following
commencement this past May and had to be completed by the time students returned in August. With no time for a competitive bid process, the university hired local contractor Duggan and Duggan to oversee construction.
"They had a very good track record with us of on-time performance and being on-time was crucial," said Philip Winger, director of maintenance.
In the past, Duggan and Duggan has overseen other summertime construction
projects such as the building of The Richter Center and the Phase Three
Townhouses, said Winger.
Why renovate Shay/Loughlen and Hickey as opposed to one of the other
residence halls or academic buildings?
"We identified a need to appeal to new students and show we had something to
offer," said Winger.
The interior of the Hickey Dining Hall has been completely re-designed with
new tables and chairs. The university also now has a new food-service
Both Shay and Loughlen received complete "cosmetic" makeovers, including new
furniture and the new suite-style set up in Shay Hall (two two-person rooms
share one bathroom). The residence halls, which are connected, also have a new
sprinkler and fire safety system.
"The students seem enthusiastic and excited about the new dorms," said David
Seyler, a sophomore and student mentor in the First-Year Experience.
In the weeks since classes started, Seyler has been meeting new students. He
said many of them are still adjusting to the transition, but feels that the
renovations help ease the transition.
"It was a big shock. The Hickey used to be some place I just went to eat.
But now I see kids just hanging out after they've already eaten. The
upgrades make it seem like a whole new Bonaventure," Seyler said.
-Michael Landers, Class of '08
If you have a student living in the residence halls, you may be wondering if students have input on the guidelines they will be living under in their new community. During the first weeks in the semester, each RA and the residents of that floor create a Community Living Agreement (CLA).
The CLA's are a set of guidelines that the residents of each floor develop with the guidance of their RA. RA's facilitate the discussion, asking questions of the residents to find out what students are expecting from each other in order to develop a healthy community on their floor. The RA's main role is to ask questions and guide conversations to discover what students are expecting from each other as floor mates.
The guidelines developed usually revolve around respect for one another (respecting quiet hours, personal property, etc.) or for the physical environment (common areas, lounges, shared bathrooms, etc.). They also include the ways in which the CLA can be altered during the semester, as the students recognize the changes in their community and in their needs from each other. As CLA's develop during the year, they often outline guidelines for confrontation with one another if personal issues develop. While many times the CLA’s support and emphasize existing policies, they cannot replace or nullify university policy or state/federal law.
Once the initial CLA conversation occurs, the RA summarizes the students' input and writes the official agreement. We ask every resident to sign the CLA to indicate their support for the guidelines.