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The Unveiling of the New Ruth S. Harley University Center

By: Ravyn Malvino

On January 18, 2021, the newly renovated and expanded Ruth S. Harley University Center (UC) reopened to the Adelphi community.

The new full Starbucks. All photos from the @adelphiu instagram

“While there were some construction delays due to the pandemic restrictions, our contractor partners worked closely with our project management team to keep it moving forward and we're pleased to open this major campus facility for this semester,” said Todd Wilson, Adelphi’s strategic communications director. “The expansive UC Dining Hall and a full-service Starbucks are up and running.”

The University Center renovation features new event and meeting rooms with updated technology, lighting, seating and campus views. In the UC Dining Hall, outlets have also been included at as many tables and locations as possible as well as in seating areas throughout the building.

“I actually really like the new UC, especially how it has so many options for seating and charging your laptops and phones for classes,” said Carson Bailey, a senior English major. “I feel like that makes it a really good usable space that wasn’t always there.”

Wilson added, “There are many great dining options in the UC, fantastic new state-of-the-art meeting and event spaces, and the new Adelphi Bookstore and spirit shop are open. The main floor has a mall-like feel with open space connecting the many offices and spaces.”

Many offices are still operating remotely, however, due to the Covid-19 situation.

The renovation was done with sustainability as an important factor. “They did a really good job with additional seating and the modern concept,” said Adelphi senior Gabriela Vidad. “I love that natural light floods most of the seating areas. It makes the space feel more open, and likely saves energy too.”

The decision to renovate the old UC rather than tear down and rebuild was a recycling event in itself. Many of the materials used are environmentally friendly and reflect green building practices and an expansive exterior green space and overall reduction of waste all contribute to a more sustainable UC.

“I have also heard about an addition of recycling bins and plans to offer dish services, rather than disposable containers, after the pandemic has passed,” said Vidad. “Hopefully, they follow through with this and future students hold Adelphi accountable for making sure the UC remains as sustainable of a building as possible.”

“I never experienced the UC before this year so I am excited and loving the new views of campus,” said Adelphi sophomore Julia Smith. “The windows and comfortable sitting spaces are wonderful and offer a much-needed relief and normalcy to living on campus.”

James Perrino, executive vice president of finance and administration, said, “It is gratifying to see Adelphi community members enjoying the newly re-opened Ruth S. Harley University Center. We appreciate the patience of the Adelphi family during this major project and the creative partnerships that allowed us to meet the needs of students, faculty staff in the interim.”

Smith added, “Even though the remodeled UC opened during a rather unfortunate moment in time given Covid-19 restrictions, I’m glad our campus is celebrating our soon-to-be bustling student hub.”

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