An Update on Fordham’s New Student Center

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Courtesy of Emma Kim/The Fordham Ram

The first floor of the new McGinley Center is open, including a student lounge.

Emma Kim, Assistant News Editor

The new campus center’s first floor is open and the student lounge is available for use. While the building’s inspections have been passed, the final paperwork is still needed to open the rest of the building, and, for now, a Temporary Permit of Assembly has been granted, according to Stephen Clarke, assistant director for Campus Center Operations.

“Once we have received the necessary paperwork, we will be permitted to open the remainder of the building,” said Clarke. “This includes the new offices for the Career Center, the Center for Community Engaged Learning and Campus Ministry. It also includes the third-floor event center and the lower level Fitness Center.” Besides final touches to the A/V and furniture installation, the building is ready to open.

COVID-19 has contributed to the delays in opening the new building, which was predicted to open during the previous fall semester. According to Clarke, the offices in charge of the necessary paperwork have been backed up due to the virus.

The new first floor includes a 9,500-square-foot student lounge that provides a new space for students to gather for recreation, group work and individual study. The second floor includes individual interview rooms, as well as reflection rooms within the new Campus Ministry office. The third floor provides new floor event spaces for groups on campus to use.

Caitlin McBride, FCRH ’25, is most excited about the new student lounge and having “a new place to study that does not have a tense atmosphere like the library,” because of the open space and more relaxed and friendlier environment. “The new amenities also allow commuter students and resident students to have a place to hang out safely on campus.”

The new fitness center has double the space of the current one, and it has new equipment.“There are many new weight training pieces including weight and selectorized machines, squat racks, cable and free weights and core machines. A variety of functional training cardiovascular machines and a body weight/suspension training structure by Precor called the Queenax,” said
Sarah Bitzer, administrator of Fitness and Recreation.

Many students have been anticipating the gym’s opening.

“When I heard that Fordham was expanding the gym, I was very excited because I enjoy working out on a regular basis. With the former gym, there were not a lot of free weights or space in the weight room. However, from the pictures I have seen, I am glad they have expanded the weight selection and overall space,” said Liliana Kinnan, GSB ’25. “It is upsetting that the gym is not open at the beginning of the second semester. However, I hope it opens soon.”

With renovations still underway, the new campus center will be the main point of entry into the building for the next phase
of the construction project. Clarke noted that the existing lobby will be offline and entry to the building will be through the new campus center entrances during the upcoming phase. In addition, the cafeteria entrance will be relocated, and guests will enter through the gallery.

When the new building is fully open, the second-floor terrace, the current first-floor lobby and the lower level will be closed off
by a weather wall. The next phase of renovation will take 15 months to complete, and it will create a new unified entrance between the new campus center, the Rose Hill Gymnasium and the Lombardi Fieldhouse. The final phase of the construction project, which started in 2020, is not expected to be completed until sometime in 2025.