Belk Library and Octagon have received a facelift.

The walls surrounding the new student center in Moseley came down Sept. 25 as the former Octagon and Hearth Lounge re-opened to the public. The space has been repurposed to make it more accessible to the needs of the student body, according to Smith Jackson, vice president for Student Life.

“I think this is the result of the students saying they wanted a living room, they wanted a place to let their hair down and feel comfortable, and this is right in the heart of the campus,” Jackson said.

The improved lounge includes eight permanent offices for campus organizations as well as lockers for organizations without offices. Organizations will be able to apply to occupy these spaces for the school year starting this week.

Other features of the new space include new mobile furniture, additional doors leading to the patio on the south side of the building, a printer station, additional flat screen TVs and Macs, a drop-down projector and a fully functioning kitchen. Room 120, which occupies PanGeos’ former Moseley location, has gotten a makeover as well.

There is also a magnetic writing wall with the Elon Phoenix logo. The wall is compatible with dry erase markers, ballpoint pens and permanent markers, and everything comes off, said Henry Walling, assistant director of campus operations.

Many students perusing the new space seemed excited, including junior Devon Gailey, who plans to use the space often.

“I think it would be a waste if we didn’t use this space,” Gailey said. “It was obviously put up for our benefit, and you can tell that they went out of their way to make this as comfortable for the students as possible.”

Walling said that students who have recommendations for continued improvements to the Student Center at Moseley should email hwalling2@elon.edu.

Belk Library also spent the summer renovating its facility, adding an entire area specifically for the Center for Writing Excellence. Numerous new study locations were also added, including new study tables and computers throughout the second floor, some high top tables and new chairs on the first floor and a coffee machine.

The renovations are an extension of the writing initiative began last year, and the Center for Writing Excellence received the biggest and most obvious renovations of Belk Library.

At the head of the effort for renovation was Joan Ruelle, dean of the library, and her goal was to “create a collaborative space that really supports writing from that first step, working with consultants from the library or the writing center throughout the process.” Due to space constraints, the library had to be selective about what was kept as they renovated the reference section. The books were not thrown out, but given to a company called Better World Books, which sell the books or donate them to World Wide Literacy organizations.

Possibly one of the most unique additions, especially to students who make a habit of all-night study sessions, was a coffee machine. Not widely publicized yet, the machine is tucked back in a small refreshments room.

“We’re open 143 hours per week so we want to make sure that you have the energy to keep going if it's 2 in the morning,” Ruelle said.

The machine is already seeing extensive use by students. Coffee costs $1.60 per cup, and only takes Phoenix Cash.

On the second floor, in response to student feedback last year, more computers have been put in, and there are more tables for small group work throughout the floor. The entire process, from planning to completion, lasted from Fall 2012 until the end of Summer 2013, but Ruelle anticipates even more changes as the Center for Writing Excellence grows and develops.


Please note All comments are eligible for publication by ENN.