[Image retrieved from St. Bonaventure University Archives]
By Caitlyn Morral
After about thirty years in the basement of Doyle Hall, the Teaching and Learning Center at St. Bonaventure University has moved across campus to the first floor of Plassmann Hall. This transition is one piece of big changes that have been occurring in the academic building.
The Teaching and Learning Center, also known as the TLC, has been a source for students to receive academic support for years. With tutors and additional academic support available to students, the center strives to help each student that comes in for help succeed in their classes and feel confident in their work.
Director of the TLC, Jean Trevaton Ehman, has been affiliated with both St. Bonaventure and the TLC for years and is excited that the move from Doyle Hall to Plassmann Hall has been a success.
“I never minded Doyle because a lot of good things happened in that location,” said Ehman. “Now, the sunshine is marvelous. I view the tutoring area as a beacon to students with the windows. Our traffic has increased immensely because Plassmann Hall is part of their daily routines.”
Plassmann Hall was built in 1959 in honor of Rev. Fr. Thomas Plassmann. Today, it is used as an academic building for a variety of classes. Over the summer, they updated their student lounge with a new printer, carpeting and furniture. A wall was also removed, so that it is more open to students.
Renovations continued earlier this semester with the addition of the TLC. To make the designated space more central for all parties involved, other student help-related departments also moved to the area, including First-Year Experience (FYE), Online and International Student Services, Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) and Disability Support Services. Each of these departments were united to create the Student Success Center in 2016.
According to Ehman, the plan for the move had been a work in progress for some time.
“As a part of the strategic planning initiative that began between 2013 and 2014, there were a lot of different things that could be changed in a myriad,” Ehman said. “We had a lot of academic support systems that were working well but were not integrated. That was the seed for the Student Success Center. There was some repetition, so it made more sense to combine them.”
According to Ehman, “There were visits to different campuses and literature reviews. One of our faculty members was put in charge of coming up with a site for our vision. Out of all of the places that were suggested, he mentioned the first floor of Plassmann Hall. His foresight coupled with our ‘must haves’ have resulted in a beautiful facility.”
The long-standing classrooms that once stood in the first floor have been transformed into a series of offices, a tutoring center and advanced classrooms. Most technologies and access for students will be available by Spring 2018.
It is still unclear what will happen to the recently empty rooms in the basement of Doyle Hall. Ehman hopes that the area will be put to good use and wishes good fortune to those who end up occupying the space.
“So many good things happened in the basement of Doyle Hall,” said Ehman. “A lot of students were helped and many students helped others. Before we moved in, it was the weight room and recreation center for the friary. It is a solid facility that somebody else is going to enjoy.
According to Ehman, “With any move and blending ‘families,’ there are some kinks to be worked out and undiscovered joys to be found.”