Bauman-Eberhardt renovation ‘will be big for students’

The Bauman-Eberhardt building will begin a renovation after plans are approved by the administration and Board of Trustees. Allison Smith / Staff Photographer

The Bauman-Eberhardt building will begin a renovation after plans are approved by the administration and Board of Trustees. Allison Smith / Staff Photographer

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The Bauman-Eberhardt building will begin a renovation after plans are approved by the administration and Board of Trustees. Allison Smith / Staff Photographer

Plans for the building are in the design stages, but SGA president is optimistic about future

Plans to put the Bauman-Eberhardt Center to use are underway. The building, previously referred to as the West Pine Gym, is being renovated into the Center for Global Citizenship.

The West Pine Gym was previously used for Saint Louis University sporting events, but the last event held there was a women’s basketball game in February 2008.  Since then, the Department of Athletics moved to the Chaifetz Arena, and the building has been used less frequently.

“One of the things that student leaders have said to us over the years is that they really would like to see a large gathering area,” Vice President of Student Development Kent Porterfield said.

Plans for the Center include a high-tech auditorium, administrative and student organization offices, a cafe with indoor and outdoor seating and a global commons, or what Porterfield refers to as a student “living room.”

“We believe that the global citizenship concept really plays nicely into the whole oath of inclusion,” Porterfield said. “We see [the Center for Global Citizenship] as being this open, inclusive, inviting space that gets students into the building, interacting, and locates a lot of the services and activities around them,” Porterfield said.

Other plans for the building include a renovation of the space to create an auditorium with theater style seating for events that might attract a larger audience.

Additionally, The Cross Cultural Center, currently located in the Busch Student Center, will relocate to the newly renovated Center, along with the organizations and administration associated with it. The new office space is expected to take up to one third of the current space.

Student organizations currently located in Des Peres Hall will also be moved into the Center as will The Center for Community Engagement, according to Porterfield.

“We hope that global citizenship as a concept, or as a part of the educational experience for students, touches all students, that students don’t see the facility as just being for a particular group, but for being for all students,” Porterfield said.

The fact that SLU’s campus does not have a space for large groups of diverse students to interact is something that Student Government President Matt Ryan said he hopes will change with the West Pine Gym renovation.

“[The Center for Global Citizenship will] offer students from all different backgrounds an opportunity to go in there and have both casual and formal opportunities to share their culture, history, and heritage,” Ryan said.

The renovation plans are still in the developmental stage. A vision for the center has been developed, and some work with the construction group has been done regarding the design and layout of space. According to Ryan, a committee is being put together that will work with the architects to make the vision a reality.

“We have a very good general concept of what it would be,” Ryan said.

As of now, the completion date is unknown. The next step, according to Ryan, is to run the plan by the president’s office and to get the board of trustees approval. Once this process is complete, the architectural work can begin. By the end of the year, Porterfield said he hopes to finalize the design and get project ready to go out for bid, pending board approval.

Although the details of the plan are not known throughout the student body, students agree that this space can be put to better use.

“It sounds like a great addition to the campus,” junior Erin O’Neill said.

Ryan said he is not sure what the impact of the Center will be on the SLU community, but he believes that it will add to the SLU community.

“It will at least create a culture of both learning and living out the college experience,” Ryan said.