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Opinion

The loss of old buildings brings new uses

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February 9, 2007

Like many, the aspect of the grand opening of the University Center had me tingling with anticipation. Watching it built in the place of the old, demolished Ames with bittersweet glee, I was counting down the days until school would finally start in January.

However, the excitement bub- bling out of me through the first week of classes turned to a shallow boiling rage when I discovered that the campus had sacrificed my beloved Sandella’s and discontinued the deep-frying of my favorite breakfast: French toast sticks and hash browns at Char’s.

I felt the need to proclaim war against the University Center with a vengeance, so fierce food services would be forced to return my stubborn breakfast and lunch habits.

The Student Center and Rodli were both a sore spot for frugal college students like me. Set in my traditional ways, I was ready to rant and rave in this column to revive the two buildings full of sentimental value for me and many other “old” students. I heard in place of eating establishments and seating, the campus would flaunt offices and storage spaces.

My determination to save campus services from making the biggest mistake in the history of this University was further reinforced and my quest, “Operation: Save UWRF,” was pushed full-speed ahead.

Before publishing a column completely uninformed and biased by nostalgia-induced arguments, I did some research regarding the recent campus building costs and accumulate a firm base to my complaints. I was pleasantly surprised with my findings and felt a
desire to share the “real” story. Hagestad Student Center and Rodli Commons are not being transformed into offices. The newly named Hagestad Hall is tentatively to become the home of textbook services, FredNet, and in the very distant future, the parking, registrar’s, financial assistance and the admissions offices.

Rodli’s plans are much more up in the air, but “recreational components” and classrooms seem to be the forerunners.

The research proves that the campus is making a huge investment in prospective stu- dents. With an estimated $10 million renovation of Ramer Field under way, the future of
UWRF looks bright and promising. The new field will help to guarantee continued Kansas City Chiefs publicity and will hopefully raise a bigger community interest in the sporting events as well.

Investments in the future result in the loss of something older, a reminder of what the campus was before it became a popular university choice among high school students.

Laney Smith is a student at UW-River Falls.