BOT turns dirt to celebrate new residence hall

11/02/07For Baker University President Pat Long, Oct. 26 is an important date.

Last year on this day, she was inaugurated as Baker’s first female president. This year, she led faculty, students and Board of Trustee members in the groundbreaking ceremony of the new residence hall.

“It’s been 50 years since Baker has had new residence halls,” Long said at the ceremony. “Students that are here, this building will be your building-it will provide new living, learning opportunities.”

The new facility, located at Seventh and Dearborn streets, is expected to be completed by August and will cost more than $6 million.

BOT Chairman Robert Honse said the residence hall will point Baker in the right direction.

“This appears to be the state of the next 150 years of Baker,” he said. “It’s been years since a groundbreaking has happened here, but this is one of many that will happen in the future.”

After Honse spoke to the Baker community, each of the trustee members was able to turn over dirt in dedication of the new building.

Sophomore Heather Shelton, who attended the event, said she thinks the creation of a new residence hall is necessary.

“I think it’s exciting,” she said. “It’s overdue, and it’s definitely good for the students.”

Shelton said she works in the president’s office and felt compelled to attend the event because of its importance to the future of Baker.

“It’s been a long time coming,” she said. “I’m a nursing major so I won’t be here to take advantage of it, but I’m sure it will be great for students who can.”

After the ceremony, members of the community were greeted with a reception.

“We’ve made many strides and headway with this one building,” Long said.

Now that construction on the plot has officially begun, Long said the university will be contemplating the future of Denious Hall.

“We’ll be able to look at Denious and decide what it will be used for,” she said. “Maybe the future of Denious is to be a one-stop-shop.”