Officials say Sage Hall Academic Success Center delayed

Officials say Sage Hall Academic Success Center delayed

February 11
02:19 2016

Adalberto Toledo | Staff Writer


The Academic Success Center is no longer scheduled to open in March, but construction crews are set to fill Sage Hall all year.

“It won’t be open by then at all,” provost Finley Graves said. “Sage has to be renovated to accommodate it, and it’s going to be a bit of work to get it to the way we want it to be.”

Although Graves said the administration did not anticipate renovations to Sage Hall, which brought on the year-long delay, he said the hall needed reconfiguration. Modifications to Sage will begin with the first floor and move up to maximize the usability of the building during construction. Some classrooms will be eliminated to make room for various programs.

“We want to make this center a place where students really want to go,” Graves said.

The funding figures for these renovations were not reflected on the most recent budget. They are anticipated to cost $3 to $4 million and will be cited in the fiscal year 2017 budget.

“We don’t know what it’s going to cost,” vice president for university affairs Elizabeth With said. “Right now, we’re trying to figure out what’s going to go in there. But even from an estimate, it’s going to be in excess of $3 million.”

The office of disability accommodation, writing lab, parts of the math lab and advising services will move to the first floor of Sage Hall. There will also be specific advising areas for undecided students and those wanting to change their major. This is in an effort to keep students at UNT and “graduate them in a timely manner,” Graves said.

Smatresk mentioned some Academic Success Center programs will be implemented by the end of spring 2016, but Graves said otherwise.

“There’s a lot of renovation to be done,” Graves said. “I’m not hopeful that any of the programs will be ready by the end of the semester.”

Delays in renovations and construction are not uncommon at UNT. For example, the University Union was set to fully open fall 2015, but construction workers and equipment remain.

Between now and 2017, crews will move the Veterans Center, Quality Enhancement Plan, study abroad offices and the career center to the second floor of Sage.

The Honors and TAMS programs, as well as the testing center and scholarship programs will be housed on the third floor, where ample space will be given for a student common area, taking away classrooms on that floor.

“The 116-seat classroom in Sage will be kept,” Graves said. “Whether we’ll keep all of them as classrooms, we don’t know.”

Graves said in order to make Sage a meeting place for students, the building needs to remain trafficked, so doing away with all the classrooms is not on the table. Kinesiology senior Christina Leyton said it’s a bad idea to get rid of classrooms in Sage.

“There’s definitely been a problem with space,” Leyton said. “Sometimes in my chemistry classes we have to relocate because we don’t have enough space for all the students.”

Leyton also recalls classes where students that came in late would have nowhere to sit, and said as the university keeps growing, the classroom space issue will only worsen.

In addition, no programs will deal solely with transfer students who make up about 11 percent of the undergraduate student population, according to the UNT 2016 Accountability Report.

Graves said the services will be open to every student, regardless of status as transfer or first-year.

“I’m not sure we are trying to differentiate transfer and first time students,” Graves said. “We hope they’ll take advantage of these programs.”

Featured Image: Sage Hall is the location of the anticipated Academic Success Center. Dylan Nadwodny | Staff Photographer 

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