Student Financial Services, Registrar, Class Deans, and Others Move to New Space in First Building Completed in Campus Renewal Plan

June 11, 2014
John O'Keefe and Lori Tenser laugh while moving boxes in Green Hall

You might think the dust is finally settling on campus after Commencement and Reunion, but this year we’re stirring up more dust before summer starts in earnest. The corridors of Green Hall are bustling with movers, dollies, orange rent-a-crates, and people packing years of their profession into boxes for a move.

Moving is, as Director of Advising and Academic Support Services John O’Keefe puts it, “surely no one’s idea of a good time.” He has packed six boxes and filled six more with recycling. But packing carries some excitement with it this time around, as the move—just across Tupelo Lane and beyond the Chapel Lawn—signifies the completion of the first major project in Wellesley’s campus renewal plan: Schneider Center.

This week, according to Paul McAndrew, project manager for the Schneider renovation, Student Financial Services' furniture moved on Monday, and Tuesday was SFS staff members' first day in the building. Furniture for Students' Aid Society, International Studies, and Faculty Housing and Transportation is moving on Wednesday, with those offices' first day in the building on Thursday. The Registrar and Class Deans' furniture will move on Friday, June 13, and staff members' first day in the building will be the following Monday.

McAndrew explains that over the next few weeks the contractor will be completing the “punch list”—miscellaneous tasks of patching and painting, final cleaning, etc.—as well as paving exterior walkways and landscaping.

When students arrive on campus for fall semester, Schneider will be the settled home of these offices, and likely a bustling hub of student activity. O’Keefe notes, “This move will re-energize a part of the campus that has felt very empty for nine years, after being so vibrant for so long, so it will be well worth the effort in the end!”  

The renovated building offers fresh and welcoming new spaces, with many beautiful and unusual details, with the refurbished wood trusses being perhaps the most prominent when you first enter Schneider. McAndrew says, “The designer did a fantastic job of reinforcing the openness of the space. The unique character of the second floor offices is my personal favorite design feature: The offices are nestled in the trusses and there are [interior] windows placed within existing openings in each of the wood trusses. These windows offer borrowed light to neighboring offices and strengthen the feeling of openness within the building, yet maintain privacy.”

Like John O’Keefe, Class Dean Joy Playter also packed six boxes in her Green Hall office, “Much fewer than I thought I would have,” she says. The chore has brought some nostalgia with it for her and others who are moving. Playter says, “I read every thank you note I have ever received from a student—plus lots of postcards sent from students while they were studying abroad—before somewhat sadly placing it in the recycle bin. It’s been very nice to be reminded of all my former students and why I like my job so much.”

A celebratory event marking Schneider’s completion and new role on campus will be held in the fall.