Campus celebrates Hammond renovations
The campus community gathered to celebrate the renovations to Hammond Hall during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Oct. 16 attended by hundreds of students, faculty, staff and invited guests.
President Antonucci described the symbolic value of the glass tower and renovations that now mark the community’s entrance to the university.
“It’s very welcoming,” he said. “It’s part of a strategy that began many years ago. This is a beautiful, small New England campus.”
The renovations include many more gathering spaces for students, which was also an important element of the plans, the president said.
“It’s all about the students,” he said, stressing that quality facilities are important to the campus, even though it is the work done by faculty in the classrooms that make the university shine. The university can back up its boasts about academic quality with data, he said, and the improvements to the campus are another physical manifestation of what he described as a university “on the move.”
“It’s about time that public universities got the same consideration for facilities that private universities do,” the president added.
Trustee Chairman Carol T. Vittorioso said the building was quickly a hit with students.
“It’s great the students are already taking full advantage of the building,” she said.
Vittorioso also noted the contributions of her predecessors Peter Alcock and Gregg Lisciotti, both of whom attended the ribbon-cutting.
Student Government Association President Matthew Costello described a strong, positive student reaction to the new facility.
“I would like to thank the student body for their investments and confidence placed in this building,” Costello said. “I am happy to see students reaping the vast benefits of the Hammond campus center firsthand, whether it’s lounging in the new Falcon Hub, holding meetings in a new glass tower room, or merely accessing the quad from the new main staircase. This has been an investment that has truly achieved its purpose of complementing and enhancing the experience of a Fitchburg State University student.”
Fitchburg Mayor Lisa Wong said the building, and its welcoming façade toward the city, is important.
The original building “really was shutting the city out,” the mayor said. “To see the glass, that is a whole different approach to the city.”
State Rep. Stephen L. DiNatale noted the numerous construction projects undertaken during President Antonucci’s administration.
“The last time there was this much construction going on in one place was probably the Great Pyramids,” he quipped. “These are your tax dollars put to really good use.”