COLIN SHEELEY/THE OBSERVER
The second floor of the Lowenstein building reopened on Monday, April 8, after months of renovation. The latest area on campus to undergo extensive renovations, the new second floor bears freshly painted walls and sparkling floor tiles speckled black and maroon.
Frank Simio, vice president of Fordham Lincoln Center, announced the reopening of the second floor, with the admissions office moving back to the second floor on Monday.
The second floor now boasts a greatly expanded admissions office. This extension, including a new welcome center, was one of the goals of the renovations. According to John Buckley, vice president for admissions and student financial services, said that the desire for a welcome center stemmed from an exponential increase in interested students.
“I’m not certain when the first group of prospective students will be hosted in the Welcome Center,” said Simio, “but I expect it will be very shortly thereafter.” He encouraged all community members to visit the floor, which is once again fully accessible by elevator.
The renovations forced the closure of the second floor lounge, leaving many students with less available free space. James Fusco, Fordham College at Lincoln Center ’22, used to frequent the lounge before it closed down. “The renovations forced me to use the third floor lounge instead,” he said. “I also noticed a lot more traffic there afterwards.”
Unfortunately for students like Fusco, the former lounge has now been replaced by the new welcome center. In an email to the Fordham community, Buckley justified this replacement, stating, “Because of its dimensions, central location, and ease of access, the second-floor lounge was the best place to situate the new welcome center. Unfortunately that meant taking the space out of service as a student lounge.” Buckley encouraged the community to instead utilise the newer lounge in room 100 on the plaza level.
The new floor itself has a few questionable design choices. For instance, the all-gender restroom located on the floor, despite being private, has two identical sinks. Perhaps the most striking issue is that several office placards have Braille simply printed onto them without the dots themselves being raised, ironically rendering the placards illegible to the blind.
Despite these issues, members of the Fordham community are still delighted with the new second floor. Conor O’Kane, director of Campus Ministry for Mission Extension, whose office is located on the second floor, is pleased with the outcome. “It’s going to be great for the university,” he said.
Despite his office staying open throughout the renovations, he and the rest of campus ministry didn’t feel inhibited by the work outside. O’Kane was happy with the results, complimenting the workers for their efforts and adherence to the renovation schedule, “I’m excited for prospective students to see it.” he said.
The second floor houses the office of admissions, offices for Campus Ministry and student financial services, the Blessed Rupert Mayer Chapel, and the new welcome center.
An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the new welcome center still functions as a student lounge. The former lounge is now solely a welcome center. The article has been updated to reflect this.