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The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

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The Carroll News

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D.J. Lombardo Student Center atrium experiences dramatic facelift in light of campus construction

The D.J Lombardo Student Center atrium looks unrecognizable after summer renovation.

Whether it’s on your walk to class or outside your Pacelli window, it’s hard to miss the campus construction. The campus construction has continued through the summer and fall, much to returning student’s chagrin. For instance, some minor projects have transformed the O’Malley and St. Ignatius Hall stairs. Others such as the D.J. Student Center Atrium were more elaborate and part of a grander scheme.

The series of major renovations started with Dolan Residence Hall and Schott Dining Hall. For the fall 2022 semester, both buildings finished renovation. Builders added a modern aesthetic to each space, replacing the warm colors that once garnished the halls with cool tones of blue, green and gray. In time for the current fall semester, Pacelli Residence Hall and the D.J. Lombardo Student Center atrium have followed suit.

Sherri Crahen, Vice President of Student Affairs, advocated for the renovation of the student center atrium from the get-go. In awe at John Carroll’s cohesive architecture, Crahen believed that the student center’s remodeling was necessary given Schott Dining Hall’s transformation during the prior year.

While Crahen retires in October, she is pleased to have dealt a contributing hand in this project, explaining to The Carroll News that “…we never had a place for students to gather, get a cup of coffee, or do homework.”

According to Crahen, John Carroll’s inspiration for the renovation originated from Schott Dining Hall, to “…carry elements from the dining hall to upstairs,” including the fireplace and the use of similar colors. “We used green because we wanted a pop of color,” Crahen states.

While most of the atrium is completed, light fixtures will be the final touch. Crahen told The Carroll News that “… there will be additional lighting that will be fun. The lighting will have green colors.”

With all the renovation talk, plans to renovate the Inn Between in the summer of 2024 have taken flight. Crahen says that “…we will use the same process when we do the Inn Between.” As for specific enhancements to the Inn Between, Crahen’s process of elimination begins with putting the student in the front of her mind. “Would students want arcade games? Would students want board games? We have space for activities.”

Ultimately, Crahen is satisfied with the atrium’s contemporary interior. She finally remarks, “… seeing how the students use the space tells a story.”

First year student Olivia Poghen ‘27 agrees that “[the atrium] has created a space where my friends and I are able to meet up, have breakfast, study and just catch up with one another. The student center atrium is the perfect place for studying or hanging out with friends. I love the selection of seating and the convenience of having the cubby.”

Anna Silvidi ‘24 stated that she does not have a preference on the design. However, she believes that the renovations “… give students a better opportunity to utilize the space.”

Jonathan Kay-Lord ‘25 told The Carroll News that “… the atrium was in desperate need of renovation. Now, it is much more appealing. Plus, the cubby has some great food,” concluding that “… the atrium feels like a more pleasant space to be in.”

For senior Anna Mialky ‘24, she harbors mixed emotions about the renovations. “I feel like it’s bittersweet but mostly sweet. Part of me is nostalgic for the old student center but I am impressed with the changes that were made. I think the changes made will allow for a more social and comfortable environment.”

Before landing on this topic, she recalled attending the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sept. 6 in the wake of the re-opening atrium. “It was during Tower Time. It was very cool because the student body president gave a speech and Al Miciak gave a talk. We learned a little bit about the history of it and the renovation as a whole. There were a lot of staff who got to see the whole journey. They brought everyone from campus to be involved in celebrating [the re-opening].”

When asked how the new atrium has affected her senior year, Anna responded to The Carroll News, saying that “… it’s made for a cool spot for me to hang out with friends. It’s been interesting to watch my little sister take advantage of it. When I was a freshman, that’s not where we did homework. I did a lot of homework in the library freshman and sophomore year. The basement used to be this social environment with the coffee shop. The student center atrium has replaced it.”

As the conversation came to an end, she did not fail to give a shout-out to her fond memories as a resident in Millor. “For some [renovations], I feel like it’s been a little bit of a waste of money. The field house will be amazing but it’s devastating because a place where I made so many memories is gone.”

The D.J student center atrium is only one in a chain of renovations in John Carroll’s massive construction endeavor. The Inn Between and the Grasselli Library and Breen Learning Center are next in line to undergo the hammer and saw–and hopefully for the student’s delight. For more information on upcoming renovations, consult the John Carroll Building Inspired Futures website.

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About the Contributors
Alissa Van Dress
Alissa Van Dress, Campus Editor
Alissa Van Dress is a junior English major from Amherst, Ohio. She has a concentration in professional writing with minors in business, creative writing and Spanish and Hispanic Studies. Previously, Alissa served as the copy editor at The Carroll News. In addition to her current role as campus editor, Alissa is a JCU football and basketball cheerleader, a writing consultant at the JCU Writing Center, works as a digital engagement ambassador for the JCU Carroll Fund, and serves on the visual arts committee for The Carroll Review. Also, she is honored to have co-founded the Theatre Club at John Carroll University. Other than writing, some of Alissa's favorite hobbies include musical theater, vocal performance, fashion, dance and cheerleading/acrobatics. After graduation, Alissa plans to write for children's entertainment.

To contact Alissa, email her at [email protected].

Tate Farinacci
Tate Farinacci, Managing Editor
Tate Farinacci is the Managing Editor for The Carroll News, from Chardon, Ohio. He is currently a junior at John Carroll University, pursuing a major in Political Science with a concentration in Legal Studies, along with minors in Philosophy, Communication and Peace, Justice, and Human Rights. Beyond his involvement with The Carroll News, Tate is a member of the John Carroll Speech and Debate Team and the new Mock Trial Team. He also serves as a peer learning facilitator for the Political Science department and works as a campus tour guide for the Office of Admissions. Tate maintains an active lifestyle by going to the gym, running and practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He's an ardent reader, appreciates journaling, and loves to cook in his free time.

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