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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.
Getting the new baseball field ready
"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 provider, Aramark.

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.

Getting the new baseball field readyChristmas came over three months early for the baseball team, and its gift came in the form of a renovated field. The team practiced on the newly named Fred Handler Park at McGraw-Jennings Field for the first time on Sept. 3.

As part of the renovation process that began in May, the fields have been converted from natural grass to Sport Turf XP. Sport Turf XP is generally found in professional sports settings. St. Bonaventure is now one of two teams in the Atlantic-10 Conference to use this state-of-the-art surface; Fordham University is the other.

“We’re hoping it will give us home-field advantage against other schools because we’ll have experience playing on this surface,” Steve Mest, the associate AD for communications, said.

Pitcher Cody Vincent, a junior, said: “It seems to be faster than grass, so it might contribute to higher-scoring games.”

Another advantage of the Sport Turf XP is its built-in drainage system that will drain water from rainfall and melted snow, Mest said. “It eliminates maintenance for the players,” he said. “Now, they can focus on being baseball players.”

Other renovations include an expanded backstop behind home plate; new, 50-foot long, sunken dugouts; new fencing around the field; and new padding in the outfield from the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Not only do the changes show the university’s support of its baseball team, but they have positively affected team morale, as well, Vincent said. “The team is excited to start again because of last season’s success, and the field adds even more excitement.”

Board of Trustees member Thomas Marra, a 1980 alum and former baseball player, made the project possible when he donated $900,000 to the baseball program. The university will hold a dedication ceremony of the Fred Handler Park at McGraw-Jennings Field at noon on Sept. 9, followed by an alumni game.

-Amy Passalugo, '08

Upcoming events on campus include:

Friday & Saturday 9/8-9 - Celebrating 25 Years of the Higher Education Opportunity Program at SBU
Monday 9/11 - Warming House volunteer interest meeting
Tuesday & Wednesday 9/12-13 - Auditions for Vocallusion, SBU's female a cappella group
Tuesday 9/12 -
Poverty Simulation
Wednesday 9/13
- Women's Soccer vs. Niagara
Friday 9/16 - Concert by pop-rock band Fizzgig
Monday 9/18 - Last Day to sign up for Pass/Fail Option

Students at the Organizations Fair on Wednesday. Photo taken by Scott Eddy, '08. Students at this week's Organizations Fair. Photo by Scott Eddy, '08.

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