Campus Commentary

The Impactful Renovation of Muntz Hall


If you have been in Muntz Hall lately you’re bound to have heard the jackhammer like sounds coming through the walls, ceiling and floor.  It is a brain boggling irritation that almost everyone I have talked to said they would just like to have it be done with. The teachers, who are losing their voices trying to talk over the noise, would like to lecture at a regular tone again.  The students, who complain of being too hot/cold due to severe temperature fluctuations, would like to know when the need to bring winter coats to class will end. The construction workers of who I’m sure would much rather be working in a less restricted environment, would like to do their job the usual loud way again.  Eric Tufts, a construction worker, told me that they are expected to be quiet after 7:30 am every day, which means they are spending the majority of their work day trying to mute these sounds that we still find to be very loud and disturbing. After talking to quite a few people, the main question for most people is: “What is the point behind this renovation? What impact will it have on us?”

The point behind this renovation is simply that this was the least functional building on campus. At 50 years old, it is the oldest, and it’s expected that it’s going to start failing piece by piece iff from nothing else but age, never mind the 5,000 or so young adults here being ever so not careful  While they are only working on the first half of the third floor right now, I have recently learned from a facility maintenance employee of the university that this is intended to be the beginning of a full building renovation. As they work down to each floor we can expect brand new resources:

1. More and better classrooms as they knock down all the walls for a whole new more accessible floor plan

2. New bathrooms, that will always have hot water running to them

3. More faculty offices so teachers can have nice places to get away from the classrooms

4.  A new geothermal (eco-friendly) heating and cooling system that is being installed to replace the old defective one we all feel the sting from at times.

This last point is particularly interesting given the recent day when we got the campus wide email from Robert Knarr stating that something had gone wrong with a scheduled shut down and we should expect Muntz 300 to be colder than normal.  A student named Hallie N. shared with me that her teacher suggested hot chocolate for his students in class that day, which would have been nice but still doesn’t make up for the inconvenience of freezing in a place we’re paying to come to.  Even with all the problems this old building presents they are doing amazing things here, and yet it still comes back to how is this going to impact us as students.

The answer to that question is not something the current day students will like to hear, but we need to look at the bigger picture, at what is good for this campus that we love.  As people who usually only go here for a maximum of four years, we will not likely get to see the whole finished project, but we might get to see one or two floors of it.  Even though this is something most feel is an inconvenience to the learning that we’re paying a pretty penny for, think of the future students who will walk in some day to a fully updated campus.  Think of the teachers who have made this place their habitat for almost half of all their weekdays, maybe they will have a little more pep in their step after resting up in a comfy new office.  Think about the amazing results this geothermal system is going to cause for our environment and for Blue Ash as a city.  Lastly, I ask that you think about yourself 15-20 years from now when you are encouraging a daughter or son to go to college and the fact that you’ll know they are only making this place even better than it is while we are here now.


About Rebeckah Williamson

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