For more than two years, heavy equipment and construction-orange barriers have become a common sight at Union as new construction and renovations have made a significant impact on the look and layout of campus. This past summer and fall were no exception as crews renovated the Everett Dick Administration Building lobby and rebuilt the west entrance to the building.
The plan took shape thanks to the vision and financial support of Nick Murray and family. “We recognized there are many other major future building projects at Union and that the Everett Dick Administration Building will need to serve for many years to come. And while the center of traffic, it was looking tired.” said Murray.
Keeping the momentum going
Murray ̓75 and his wife, Alberta ’75; son Ben ’04 and his wife, Aimee ’05; son Scott ’06 and his wife, Brittany, decided to fund the project. “The family wanted to continue the momentum at Union that started with the new science building,” he said. “With much help from the college, we challenged people to come up with an efficient lobby refresh that will serve Union for the next decade.”
This building holds a special place for Murray. Having graduated from Union with an emphasis in business, accounting and computing, he has stayed connected by helping establish the Business Advisory board in 2003. He has since co-chaired this group of alumni who help guide and provide support for the Division of Business and Computer Science. So finding a way to improve the building that houses the division and continue the momentum on campus “became a natural goal for the family.”
The lobby renovations provide for a more open, inviting, and friendly welcome for visitors, as well as more usable space for students who throng the building every day for classes. The renovation raised the ceiling and added 70 percent more lighting. Additional square footage and double doors at the east entrance were added by trimming back space in two of the offices and moving the entrance way on the west side out of the lobby and under the porch.
After removing the dated furniture from the lobby, the Associated Student Body, Union’s student government, contributed a major portion of the money toward purchasing new lobby furniture. One class gift that was in the lobby prior to reconstruction has been moved to the heritage room in the library and others have been moved to new locations within the lobby. The class of 2013 purchased software to digitize names of alumni and students who have served as overseas missionaries—now available through a touch screen located next to the elevator.
Making a grand entrance
Initially Murray hoped to fund a new entrance for the east side of the building that faces what has become known as the “the quad,” the area bounded by the Everett Dick Building on the west, the Don Love Building on the east and Krueger Center and Prescott Hall on the north and south.
But because of significant costs for replacing ramps providing handicap accessibility and renovation of the trash pickup area on the south side of the ad building, administration decided to defer that project, and Murray encouraged the college to support the lobby redesign by renovating the west entrance.
The addition of the west entrance renovation—including new crescent-shaped stairs and repouring some of the sidewalks on that side of the building—pushed the completion of the project into the fall.
“The Murrays have been responsible for funding well over half the cost of the lobby and west entrance renovation.” said Jeff Leeper, vice president for Financial Administration. “Union College is blessed to have the Murray family and many other donors who passionately support Union financially and make projects like this possible.”
Always more to do
The Murrays hope the renovations don’t stop with the administration building. “We hope friends will adopt a floor to remodel in the Everett Dick Building such as was done on the third floor several years ago.” Murray said. “We think there are several meaningful projects like this that families can embrace if that is their passion.”
By Stefani Leeper ’16