An opinion on the soon to come Johnson Sanford Center

By Natalie Beale
Scarlet Staff

Come fall, there will be some major changes on campus, mainly around Downing Street. For students, the greatest of these changes will be the merging of Johnson and Sanford Halls into the “Johnson Sanford Center” (or “JSC”) with “improvements” to the Fuller Quadrangle.

Students have received a few emails detailing the changes, and the Residential Life and Housing pages on the Clark website state that “the end result will be a large mixed class residential center with ammenities (sic) similar to those found in recently renovated Wright and BullockHalls.

Janford in all its glory... if Clark were in a video game. Photo courtesy of clarku.edu

The Johnson Sanford Center will feature new social, study, and multimedia lounge spaces; new improved Laundry facilities; an outdoor Roof Terrace, and elevator access to all levels.”

The website hops confusingly between present and past tense, such as “The Johnson Sanford Center is only a minute walk from the the Kneller Athletic Center” or “The Johnson Sanford Center Hall will feature shared common space,” indicating the suddenness with which these renovations are happening. This was evident in the confusing housing lottery this year that left some students with only the expensive Blackstone Hall from which to choose. (At this juncture I will take the opportunity to say that “Blackstone Hall” sounds like the home of an evil aristocrat with very pointy canines).

There are no doubt welcome improvements in the changes to Johnson and Sanford, particularly elevators for improved accessibility, as well as updated laundry facilities – the machines in Johnson’s basement have broken more than once. Continue reading

Sleeker campus coming

Updates to dorms, including more community spaces, on the horizon

By Zach Weinstein
Scarlet Staff

Change may be coming to Clark over the summer but in some ways be a return to certain Clark roots. Last month, President Angel announced a slew of planned projects to the Clark campus and the surrounding area via a campus wide email.

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One of the planned projects is “building [a] connector that houses lounges and other community spaces to Sanford and Johnson during the summer of 2012, with a comparable project for Hughes and Dana during the summer of 2013.”

One of the goals of this renovation is to create a community space that fosters social life and creates additional study spaces for these dorms. A piece of Clark’s history provided some of the inspiration for this project.

There used to be an abundance of such spaces; the Little Center for Johnson and Sanford, and Dana Commons for Dana and Hughes. Executive Vice President Jim Collins, the coordinator for these projects, said, “Over time we’ve gotten away from that.” This project would be a way of renewing some of the community spaces on campus as has already started to happen with the renovations of Bullock and Wright Halls. It is likely that this effort would be well received by students as the planning process originated largely out of discussions with R.A.s and feedback from student surveys. Continue reading