Saturday, July 13, 2024

Moffitt renovations welcome students

The ribbon cutting ceremony for Moffitt Hall took place Thursday, Sept 1. Speakers at the ceremony included Residence Director and Academic Coordinator Patrick Hazilla, Plattsburgh State President John Ettling, Vice President of Student Affairs Bryan Hartman and Director of Housing and Residence Life Steve Matthews. The ribbon was cut at 4:30 p.m. after remarks from faculty and staff, and the audience was invited to refreshments inside.

Ettling began the ceremony with a reading from General Stephen Moffitt’s obituary.

Born August 6, 1837 and living locally in he was the first man to enlist in the 96th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment. In 1863, Confederate soldiers at the Battle of Plymouth captured Colonel Moffitt and he was imprisoned nearly six months later before exchanges for his freedom was arranged. Following his return, Moffitt became a warden at Dannemora, a County Clerk and a state legislature who was instrumental to the building of Plattsburgh State University in 1899.

Ettling concluded his speech by suggesting that Moffitt’s plaque be placed outside the residence halls.

Bryan Hartman spoke about SUNY Plattsburgh’s history of dormitory renovations. The renovation of Macdonough Hall in 2003 lasted until 2005 and cost fifteen million dollars.

Because the law requires all SUNY residence halls to be self-sufficient, the funding was made possible through bond sales.

“Bonds are purchased in large sums on behalf of SUNY and they serve as loans,” Hartman said.

In 2008, an extensive makeover of the residence halls was planned by the Dormitory Income Fund Reimbursable Committee, which Hartman serves on as the Chairperson.
Originally the dorms lacked insulation, and newly renovated dormitories keep 20 percent more heat.

The newly remodeled building “looks like a hotel” according to one parent during opening weekend. Hartman says he took the remark as the highest praise for the finished product.

Moffitt Hall is also the first building suite to have two common areas on each floor. Hartman said the dual common areas will provide a space for students to study, learn and build relationships.

Hartman also said on-campus students perform better than students who live off-campus.

“I like the giant common areas,” said Residence Advisor Taeko Kelly, who is confident it will be able to accommodate kids working on group projects best.

Matthews was the final speaker. He said the year-and-a-half construction was not yet complete. Construction workers would begin a two-week installation of a foot-wash station. The new building will also be the first suite to include an Inter-faith prayer room.

“The prayer room has been asked for by students for years and this building’s design worked for such a space,” Matthews said.

The room will be accessible to any students and all denominations and Matthews made sure he researched the needs of specific student’s religions.

“I began working with some individuals from the Muslim Student Association to make sure that we were designing elements in the room that would work with the Muslim religion,” he said.
Matthews estimates the school’s housing renovations will extend into 2020 with Wilson, Macomb, Whiteface and Kent.

“At that point (2020) we’ll evaluate our funding and make decisions about Banks and Adirondack.” Mathews said, “We would like go into the buildings that have been renovated in the past few years that did not have the bathrooms renovated and do those.”

From the penthouse view of the campus to the spacious common areas that mirror business centers and the welcoming cleaning staff, living on-campus really feels like the suite life.

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