President Donna E. Shalala and Sebastian the Ibis stood under balloon arches by Lake Osceola on Monday for the grand opening of the Student Activities Center (SAC). Students entered the building that afternoon, and the activities began – some hanging out at the new Rathskeller, and others working in new organization offices.
Although Monday’s fanfare has come and gone, some hard hats remain. The central stairwell was closed Wednesday, and construction workers stood in the lobby. The 24-hour Kornspan Study Lounge has yet to open its doors – a peek through small glass windows shows that construction has not started.
These little things aside, the amount of progress that was made in just two years is impressive. For the most part, only minor details remain, which is something to be expected considering the size of the building.
We’ve been given the opportunity to work and study – and technically live, once the 24-hour lounge opens – in a top-notch facility that’s both visually stunning and equipped with modern resources. And the administration didn’t want to put that off any longer.
Brandon Gross, assistant director of the Student Center Complex, said the administration planned on opening the center as long as major progress had been made.
Rightfully so. Considering there are no safety hazards, it makes sense for the administration to have officially opened the SAC at the start of the academic year. It would be inconvenient to make the move during winter break, for example.
In addition to the 24-hour lounge, which is expected to be finalized early this semester, the Senate room is the only other incomplete area of the building. Meanwhile, students shouldn’t worry about safety, as administration would not have opened the building without full approval from the city of Coral Gables, which issued the SAC’s certificate of occupancy.
However, if students have any issues with the building, they can go to the information desk and report the pressing problem.
The SAC is the new heart of campus. And its blood will be fully pumping by the time of the building’s dedication during Homecoming Weekend with the official naming on Nov. 7. We can only hope it’s named after President Shalala, the heart of our university.
Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.