Posted November 6, 2014 by Cooper Point Journal in Letters & Opinion
 
 

Survey Asks Students To Shape CRC Remodel


By Jaye Hashimoto

Holy shit, the CRC is getting remodeled! Or at least, it has a chance to be, that’s not yet decided. Why? Because that’s up to us. We’re voting on it later this year. And this, my friends, is very, very important. The current facility was the product of three successive expansions, which have left it a confusing, labyrinthine, and strangely-designed work of…call it what you want. Less than half our currently-enrolled students use the CRC. The new designs are focused on creating a more welcoming and eco-friendly complex. The design process has been centered around feedback received from real, live Greeners last spring (through a my.evergreen.edu survey).

Some ideas that are being proposed: new, better social spaces, a GENDER NEUTRAL LOCKER ROOM and more gender-neutral bathrooms (men’s and women’s locker rooms will be retained and possibly remodeled), more natural lighting with views of the field, improved accessibility (no more “bridge to nowhere,” new main entrance closer to housing, better navigability) and even—possibly—a new health center (no more waddling all the way to Sem I for you!).

On a survey to be opened Nov. 10, all students will have a chance to preview these proposed designs and evaluate which we think are worth it. The new facility changes would not be free. Taxpayer dollars, it seems, are seldom used for college rec centers. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to make our voices heard in this survey. The designers need our feedback on how much we like the new designs and how students are willing to pay for rec center improvements (student fees would change). Getting an idea of a budget “green zone” can help them to tailor their design so that they’re not overshooting on the cost. The data collected will also be used to figure out which potential remodeling projects are most important to TESC students.

It’s important that they get this part right, because the final vote in winter or spring is planned to be only “yes” or “no.” The fact that we will only be given these two options does not seem that it was engineered by the design company. This seems a decision more on the part of the college than anyone else. I do not believe that this is an effective way to gauge student approval of this project. I suggest to allow for more feedback, perhaps voting on individual features, than simply “yes we want to remodel” or “no we don’t want to remodel.” It may be possible for us to change this fate by student feedback, but for now, all of the changes to the CRC—adding gender-neutral facilities, improving circulation and safety of the building, adding new access points and creating new space for social outlets—depends on our campus voting a majority of “yes.”

So, I urge you to take part in the upcoming survey and, additionally, to make your voices heard in the ongoing saga of how decisions are made on campus. To note, the way this process has been done shows significant changes from the process which the ill-fated CAB redesign went through, something that only alumni, staff and students-who-never-leave might remember. This process seems to be done in a much more student-focused way, yet the direct recruitment of student participation still seems a bit off from the mark. That’s not to say that steps weren’t taken to make sure we had a much larger influence in the early parts of the design process; but I still think there could be more choice of options in the final decision to be made. When the survey arrives in your inbox (check my.evergreen.edu, it will be accessible for a week and then the chance to shape the final design will be gonnaroos.) Yost-Grube Hall is not in charge of how Evergreen solicits student participation. If you have feedback about the upcoming vote, direct it to Evergreen sources as they are the ones in charge of how the voting process is run. This is our chance, Evergreen—let’s make it count!

By the way, the new designs look #freakinawesome. Just figured I’d leave you with that, you’ll can take a look when the survey opens!

At a glance:

Who’s remodeling it, anyways?

Yost-Grube Hal (YGH), they’re a Portland-based architecture firm. The firm has done many college building projects in the past; they seem to specialize in eco-friendly designs and have many LEED-certified staff. You can take a look at their work @ http://ygh.com/

Who makes the surveys?

A company called Brailsford & Dunley. Last spring, they sent out a survey all then-enrolled TESC students were eligible to take. They are also working on the survey for next week. They created a report using infographics & data which provided critical info for YGH’s proposed designs.

Have any extra info about last spring’s survey?

Yep, only 17% of enrolled students filled out the survey. That’s not to say that’s a bad number: YGH expected a 10% turnout. But we could really improve this time around. 17% is by far not representative of the whole school, but it is a pretty good indicator of many student needs and wants.