While the majority of the student body left campus this summer, Drake decided to do a bit of a makeover on some parts of campus. They renovated the Bell and Knapp Centers by replacing the old basketball court with a new, more modern, version, as well as updating some equipment. There has also been headway on the beach volleyball court outside GK, though right now it looks more like a sandpit. Cowles Library also got a facelift by redoing the entire main floor. There are countless other renovations, too many to list, but these are the ones I am excited about.
Call me biased, but my favorite renovation is the library because I work there every day. This remodel has been long overdue and now I want to spend even more of my time at Cowles. We got new carpet, which is mainly grayscale but has blue patches, and all new furniture. I have personally tested every type of chair or couch that we have gotten and am excited to say that each one is more comfortable than the last. The color scheme is more appealing but not overbearing, which is perfect for a place for studying. While the rest of the library is still stuck in the age of our last renovation (which was in 2010), the main floor makes up for the difference. Hopefully the rest of the floors are next up, but honestly I would be happy keeping it like it is now.
I am also pretty happy about the Bell Center and Knapp Center remodels. The picture of the Knapp Center court on the Drake Instagram page almost makes me want to go to a basketball game. Maybe this year will be the time for me to actually support Drake Athletics. I also really hope that the Bell Center updates will include the fitness studio because then even I will get to enjoy it when I actually decide to go to a group fitness class.
However happy I am with the renovations they are doing, I am still kind of bummed that they are not giving enough attention to every problem spot on campus, like Howard, Meredith, FAC, etc. I understand that we need to budget things and focus on one project at a time, though it just seems like it is time these parts of campus got some love. I know it costs a lot of money but if we are willing to build a whole new STEM building and do a ton of landscaping around it, we could at least afford a new space for the arts. Maybe just redo the stages and auditoriums in FAC so it is more of an inviting and functional space for the theater program.
Regardless of my “but what about…” tendencies, I really am pleased with the renovations from this summer. The campus looks great and it only stands to look better as the years progress. Maybe one day they will even fix the pipe that runs between Cole Hall and Carnegie Hall that kills all the grass above it because it is too hot. That will be the day I have no more complaints about Drake University’s renovation budgeting (but no promises).