Campus renovations aim to enhance student life

Summer ren­o­va­tions on Northeastern’s campus are vast and varied, ranging from the con­struc­tion of new research and learning spaces to expanding the menu at the Inter­na­tional Vil­lage dining hall. But they are tied together by one common thread: enhancing the overall stu­dent experience.

Two renovations—the recently announced expan­sion of Snell Library’s Dig­ital Media Com­mons and the con­struc­tion of the Arnold S. Gold­stein Sim­u­la­tion Lab­o­ra­to­ries Suite in Behrakis Hall—aim to enhance teaching and learning at the university.

The Dig­ital Media Com­mons upgrades, which will be com­pleted by the start of the fall semester, are part of a series of devel­op­ments throughout Snell Library. The new space will include enhanced technology-​​focused space to sup­port immer­sive learning and col­lab­o­ra­tion, including a 3-​​D printing facility, upgraded stu­dios, and next-​​generation audio/​visual infrastructure.

At Behrakis Hall, con­struc­tion is underway on the new Arnold S. Gold­stein Sim­u­la­tion Lab­o­ra­to­ries Suite, which will facil­i­tate health­care instruc­tion using computer-​​driven man­nequins and life­like models, allowing fac­ulty and stu­dents to repli­cate clin­ical symp­toms and mod­u­late real­istic human responses. The facility, named in honor of the late Arnold S. Gold­stein, a North­eastern alumnus who was a pro­fessor of phar­macy and served as acting dean in what was then the Col­lege of Phar­macy and Allied Health Pro­fes­sions, was funded with a $2 mil­lion gift from Goldstein’s widow, Marlene.

“These resources will offer stu­dents rich learning envi­ron­ments that pro­vide a range of aca­d­emic ben­e­fits, including group col­lab­o­ra­tion, aca­d­emic instruc­tion, access to cutting-​​edge tech­nology, and expe­ri­en­tial edu­ca­tion,” said Stephen W. Director, provost and senior vice pres­i­dent for aca­d­emic affairs.

A series of other ren­o­va­tions focus on improving stu­dent life out­side of the aca­d­emic realm.

When the Inter­na­tional Vil­lage dining hall reopens this fall, stu­dents will have many more options from which to choose. They will be able order custom sand­wiches at a take-​​out deli, for example, or try a slew of new options at food sta­tions designed specif­i­cally for those with aller­gies or pref­er­ences based on the Jewish or Muslim reli­gious traditions.

A new kosher station will provide food prepared under the supervision of religious authorities.

The halal sta­tion will serve food according to Islamic dietary laws, and the new kosher sta­tion will be over­seen by a mash­giach (Hebrew for “super­visor”) who will manage food prepa­ra­tion. According to Mau­reen Tim­mons, director of Dining Ser­vices at North­eastern, all kosher food on campus had pre­vi­ously been pre­pared off-​​site and deliv­ered in the form of frozen meals.

A new kosher sta­tion will pro­vide food pre­pared under the super­vi­sion of reli­gious authorities.

Another new fea­ture, “Zone 7,” named in recog­ni­tion of the seven foods mostly likely to cause allergic reac­tions, will fea­ture a menu free of eggs, milk, peanuts, shell­fish, soy, tree nuts, and gluten.

“We are con­stantly focused on making improve­ments that enhance stu­dent life,” said Laura Wankel, vice pres­i­dent for stu­dent affairs. “Expanding the menu at Inter­na­tional Vil­lage con­tinues our com­mit­ment to pro­viding a wide variety of dining options across campus.”

The summer also marks the first phase of a project in which mem­bers of the facil­i­ties staff will install key­less entry sys­tems in more than 20 res­i­dence halls. Under the new system, stu­dents will be able to open the door to their rooms by waving their Husky Card in front of the lock. Key­less entry sys­tems will be installed in the remainder of the res­i­dence halls in phase two of the project, at which time other poten­tial uses for the tech­nology will be assessed.

Also sched­uled to open at the start of the fall semester is the Center for Stu­dent Involvement’s new Pro­gram­ming Lab. The lab, to be located in a ren­o­vated space on the second floor of the Curry Stu­dent Center, will offer stu­dent orga­ni­za­tions a drop-​​in “Genius Bar”-inspired clear­ing­house for pro­gram plan­ning and design with newly-​​trained student-​​employees who are avail­able on a drop-​​in basis to assist group leaders who pre­vi­ously needed to schedule a meeting with a uni­ver­sity staff member. The lab will also serve as a loca­tion for orga­ni­za­tions to hold quick exec­u­tive board meet­ings and as a short-​​term storage site for stu­dent groups in need of storing equip­ment and sup­plies prior to on-​​campus activities.