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Monday, August 3, 2015

Marian E. Wright Writing Center moving to Thompson Library

By Kiera Wright and Times Staff Writer

The Marian E. Wright Writing Center and the Marian Wright Computer classroom are being moved to the library to enhance student’s writing and tutorial services. The Writing Center will be moving to the third floor of the library next to the University ThinkLab. The Wright Computer classroom will be moving to the second floor of the library next to the hall windows. The move could potentially extend Writing Center service hours.

“The space is slightly larger than the one we have now. It will give the students access to more and better computers, it will be better wired, provide students with better access to the resources provided by the center and more convenient overall,” Director of the Marian E. Wright Writing Center and English Professor Jacob Blumner said. “I’ll have an office over there so it will be more convenient for the students and for me to get more work done there.”

The new space is a little bit over 100 square feet and Blumner even expressed looking into a new Smartboard for the center. The expected start date of the renovation is around the end of March. Blumner and the Writing Center staff hopes to move in by May. The plan is for the Psychology Department to move into the Writing Center space in preparation to be ready by the Fall 2013 semester.

The library still plans to maintain the academic atmosphere in the library and continue to promote academic study. The expectation is for the third floor to be a bit more active with the Writing Center occupying the space.

“We’ve been on the lookout for services that fit with library services. We want the library to be a focus for a hub of services for students. Things that relate to reading, writing, research and a variety of other services we wanted to have here in the library. We’ll try to minimize the noise here at the end of the semester. The space will be very convenient for students and we want to keep the library as an academic space,” Library Director Bob Houbeck said.

Although the construction that will be conducted on the university will not affect tuition rates, the budgets for the projects vary. The projects are very much separate. As mentioned in Chancellor Person’s State of the University Address, the estimated budget costs for the renovation of the Murchie Science building is a sum of more than $22 million.

“This particular budget is primarily funded by the State as a part of the capital outlay project. The project was approved by the outgoing governor, Jennifer Granholm. The move of the [Writing Center] is funded by the university,” Assistant Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance Bill Webb said. “One of the key guiding principles for relocating [the Psychology Department] is not to disadvantage them. We wanted to accommodate as much as we could, a similar amount of space as they had in the Murchie Science Building.”

The budget for the University to fund the move is approximately $897,000. Of the $22 million budget for the capital outlay project, the State will be funding almost $17 million and the University will fund the rest.

Overall, with the exception of the renovation of the MSB, all changes are expected to be complete by the beginning of the Fall 2013 semester. Blumner, Houbeck and Webb all expressed optimistic views about the success of the projects. One key trend in the reasoning for the enhancements to the university is to improve the general experience, convenience and success for the students.

Kiera can be reached at

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