When the class of 2010 graduates this May, the memory of dining in MoConaughy Hall will leave campus with them; this year’s seniors are the last remaining students to have known the days of MoCon before the Usdan University Center opened. MoCon and the vacant brick building adjacent to Usdan and North College, which used to house squash courts, have been sitting unused for several years as the University considers new options for the spaces.
Although many students have expressed a desire to keep the existing structure for alternative uses, the Administration maintains that the most economically feasible option for MoCon is demolition.
“Up until now, we haven’t found a use for MoCon that’s economical because the building is unsound for contemporary purposes,” said President Michael Roth. “We think we will have to demolish the building at some point so the University can use that spot in the future for dorms and other uses that would be appropriate.”
However, the University plans to renovate the squash court building. According to Roth, the squash court building’s central location makes it a desirable structure to renovate. In fall 2008, plans to make the building into a museum to house part of the University’s extensive art collection were scrapped for financial reasons. Now, Roth says the building will likely be used for academic purposes.
“We are looking at a number of adaptive reuses for the squash building that include classrooms and offices,” said Associate Vice President for Facilities Joyce Topshe in an e-mail to The Argus. “You may hear more about that in the spring.”
Roth said that he would like to see the squash court building open in either the fall of 2011 or the winter of 2012, but that the end date of the renovation will depend upon the extent of fundraising efforts.
“We have some money put to the side and we will be raising more,” said President Roth. “We have a few different plans for renovating the building [and] are pricing those plans.”
The Administration has not finalized plans for either of the unused buildings; no final decision has been made about demolishing MoCon and the departments to be housed in the squash court building have not yet been determined.