Templeton Student Center, which will be renamed Stephanie J. Fowler Student Center, has been under construction since Dec. 2021.
In the coming months, Templeton will be opening in phases. The first phase, which includes the Trail Room, coffee bar and market has already been completed. There are still issues with the rollout, but many of the services are now open with limited hours. According to the Student Renovation Center website, the second phase, which includes much of the first floor and club offices, is scheduled to open on Oct. 7. The rest of Templeton is expected to be largely operational by the start of spring semester in 2023.
One of the main sections of Templeton that has been under construction was the beloved Trail Room. Ryan Jensen, the general manager for Bon Appétit, mentioned the challenge for students when only Fields Dining Hall was open.
According to Bon Appétit management they had a very large volume through the cafe. While the lines looked longer, the actual wait was shorter than it has been. The meal hours were also expanded to accommodate larger class sizes.
The Trail Room opened earlier this month. Its updated design features a brand-new ordering system, grab-and-go snacks and a coffee bar.
“We are working to extend our hours into the evening and are getting close,” Jensen said. “Groups will have an opportunity to schedule events, though not through Bon Appétit — the mechanism is still in the works. Alcohol service in the evenings Tuesday-Saturday will be coming soon. There will also be late night food options in the future Tuesday-Saturday from 8 p.m.-10 p.m.”
The Templeton Renovation includes many new additions, including study spaces, expanded dining options and space for more student-led events. However, the construction has also displaced a large number of important offices that are frequently used by students, such as the mail room.
Mail Services are now permanently located in McAfee, which shares a parking lot with Holmes Residence Hall and is near the now-defunct Maggie’s Cafe. Mail Services Manager Stephanie Takashima said there was discomfort in the change.
“We definitely felt very displaced,” Takashima said. “It’s been very busy, but we are getting acclimated and finding our roots.”
Despite some difficulties with moving to the new building, Takashima feels very optimistic about the future of the mail room.
“It’s been challenging, but good. I greatly appreciate that I was able to have input in how the space is going to be designed,” Takashima said. “ It’s a lot to map out, but I’m looking forward to having everything placed and organized, because you have to be organized back here. I want it to flow well, and I want the students to be happy.”
The Templeton Remodel is the result of countless hours of architectural planning and in-depth conversations with students and the broader Lewis & Clark community. Assistant Dean of Student Engagement Rocky Campbell has been instrumental in aiding with the remodeling.
“When our current president, Robin Holmes-Sullivan, came to LC as vice president, she was interested in speaking with students and wanted to have a focus on the student experience at LC,” Campbell said. “She created something called the ‘Student Experience Task Force’ and asked myself and my colleague to help build a team of students, staff and faculty to examine the student experience.”
In 2019, Campbell helped run focus groups for new ideas surrounding the student center.
“Some of the focus groups were intentionally-chosen communities at LC to make sure that their voices were heard, and then there were much larger town halls that anyone could come to,” Campbell said.
Despite its success, this ambitious remodeling project has not been without its fair share of challenges.
“There’s lots of hiccups in a project like this,” Campbell said. “Sometimes the smallest things become really big challenges. I think the world has gone through a very dramatic change that impacts the project in a lot of ways. There’s a lot of construction-specific inflation, and supply chain disruptions. We have to create a lot of interim solutions.”
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