Last year the College announced a plan to build the Parkway Boulevard Building and to create a 42,000 square foot expansion to Seegers Union. Now, a year later, the Parkway Boulevard Building is almost done and on schedule to finish before the start of the fall 2022 semester, while the preliminary sketches for the Seegers expansion have been completed.
The Parkway Boulevard Building will house a number of departments, including the Office of Community Engagement, department of innovation and entrepreneurship, the Muhlenberg College Institute for Public Opinion, the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies and an art studio space.
According to Kent Dyer, the College’s chief business officer, the building has progressed nicely. Despite some supply-chain issues, the project has remained on budget and on time. Commenting on the new building, Dyer stated, “The three-story Parkway Boulevard Building will feature more than 20,000 square feet of student programming and academic space where key college divisions and programs will facilitate connections among faculty, staff, students and the community.” In addition, the building is focused on being eco-friendly, with “the Parkway Boulevard Building [being] one of the most environmentally sustainable buildings in higher education, with students and faculty in the sustainability studies program providing feedback during the initial planning for the project. The building is being constructed as one of the first 20 projects in the world to pursue the Living Building Challenge CORE certification—the most advanced measure of sustainability in the built environment.”
The Seegers Union expansion still has a lot of planning to undergo before breaking ground, and the College has not yet hired an architect for the project. However, the initial schematic drawing outlining what the building will look like has been completed, boasting an exciting update for the main building on campus. Talking about the project, Dyer stated, “The ambitious 42,065-square-foot expansion of Seegers Union will include not only versatile classroom and gathering spaces, a relocated Office of Alumni Affairs and a major events space, but also an enhanced Career Center—one specially adapted to help students and alumni achieve success in their careers or graduate studies.”
Lastly, Dyer addressed the new raises in tuition stating, “The tuition increase has nothing to do with these projects.”
Students are excited for these new projects. One student, who is in the innovation and entrepreneurship program, is especially looking forward to the Parkway Boulevard Building, saying,“The current classroom is super cramped and you can’t really do work there; it is currently a glorified closet that is being called a ‘big space.’ There are tons of random boxes in the already cramped classroom, and as a result we are not able to use the available machines or tools to design prototypes, which is an integral part of the class. The new space will be a lot better because we will be able to use more tools and machines, making it easier to create better prototypes and actually design things.”
Aleah Pelech ‘23 is excited about the Seegers expansion saying, “It’s a very small college so any kind of expansion is good for increasing student services. The new pre-health and pre-law advising offices are a great addition to campus because they are important programs on campus.”