The fifth and final floor was poured on Aug. 9, allowing the installation of the first floor HVAC ductwork and other utilities. And as Jaspers returned to campus for the fall 2013 semester, many marveled at their first glimpse of the commons’ stately silhouette.
“I did a double take!” says student body president Keelan Ledwidge ’14. “There is definitely a buzz on campus since so much progress has been made this summer. After all the anticipation, seeing the construction with all the floors in place made it so real.”
Ledwidge, who grew up on Waldo Avenue, says he enjoys “watching this beautiful and enormous building take shape as I walk to class everyday” and that he’s excited to see the enormous and positive impact on the campus community.
“One of the things that makes our campus great is how small it is; it’s able to bring so many of us together, but there really isn’t a state-of-the-art venue where everyone can naturally gather other than the Quad,” Ledwidge says. “This building adds that. It unifies Leo Hall with the rest of the campus, and it sends the message to prospective students that Manhattan is serious about becoming one of the best schools of its kind in the entire country.”
Many of the newest members to the campus community — the class of 2017, in particular— have kept their eyes on the site’s progress since its inception by attending campus events, from open houses and accepted students days, all the way to orientation.
“I have been visiting campus often this year, so it’s almost like we have watched the building rise,” Fiona Dunn ’17 says. “I am looking forward to the student commons because it will definitely be a great environment and offer another place like the Quad to enjoy each other’s company, do homework, socialize and meet new people.”
As site work continues, the commons’ silhouette will be filled in. Interior utility work is progressing on the first and second floors, as well as framing for walls, and the layout of walls and utilities has started on the third floor.
Additionally, the south end is taking shape: Construction of the retaining wall leading up to the former Quigley House site has begun, as well as significant rock removal that is required to create the on-site parking spaces.
“Frames for the glass curtain wall on the east and north sides are currently being installed,” says Andrew Ryan, vice president for facilities. “And steel for the roof will be installed within two weeks.”