Looking around campus, aesthetics and curb appeal are important to the college with new renovations, and the ever-present construction crews, but something doesn’t quite add up.
In the spring semester of last year, the Courier took a look at many of the new furniture items, including chairs and couches in abstract patterns and bright colors to fit in with the new design.
While expensive, the furniture was said to last longer and stand up to the use of a busy college, making the expense worth it in the long run.
Walking through hallways inside of the Berg Instructional Center, students and faculty are now confronted with clogged hallways with plastic benches lining the halls and creating clutter.
It is not to say that additional seating isn’t an advantage for the student population, as floor space is at a premium and with the amount of students on campus, it allows for more students to meet up, work on projects or just take a break between classes.
However, if aesthetics are so important, stick to it.
In the Courier article from February 10, 2012 entitled “The Price is Right”, Vice President of External Relations Joe Moore stated that the furniture was chosen for it’s durability because it isn’t residential furniture like most people buy.
This furniture from the company Coalesse was created for high traffic areas including, but not limited to, community colleges and airports.
Taking into consideration the amount of people that use these seats, the initial cost of around $1300 for couches and $600 for chairs might seem staggering at first, but if they hold up as they are supposed to, they will pay for themselves, keeping replacement costs at bay.
Each space on campus has had clear designs and ideas, and the sterile gray benches detract from the environment or setting that the furniture and those involved with the design process worked towards.
The addition of the benches is an obvious after thought, and if the college is going to spend money on improving the appearance, instead of spending money on new trees and flowers, only to be thrown away and replaced in a few months, why not invest in better furniture?
The installation of the new benches has provided seating, but also adds to the congestion in busy hallways. Better planning and follow through needs to go into these projects to aid students and create the best environment for learning, relaxing and commuting.
Moore went on to say that the Coalesse furniture was chosen because it created a sense of community and a place of gathering, but the new benches don’t go along with the original aesthetic and should be rethought.