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tower’s Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

By Daniel Smith
On September 20, 2017

President Boggess and Santos cut the ribbon for the grand re-opening of Towers. 
Photo By Caleb Zopp

Concord University celebrated the grand re-opening of the North and South Tower residence halls with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, September 14.

    The ceremony was accompanied by a variety of events on Wednesday and Thursday. Altogether, lots of excitement surrounded the completion of the Towers renovation.

    With anticipation filling the North Tower lobby, the audience watched as Catherina Santos, SGA Board of Governors Student Representative, and Dr. Kendra Boggess, President of Concord University, held the giant scissors; firmly holding the handles, they slowly cut the ribbon. The audience applauded in response to this mark on the history of Concord University.

    The ribbon-cutting ceremony was hosted by Connie Shumate, and speeches were even given by several people prior to the ribbon cutting. These people included Dr. Boggess, Santos, along with Jody Driggs, Principal of Silling Associates, and Derick Foster, Paramount Builders president. To start the ceremony, Connie Shumate, Director of Marsh Library, gave a short introductory speech to welcome and thank everyone who came out to witness the special occasion. Shumate introduced the speakers before they gave their speeches at the podium.

    Dr. Boggess told everyone how well everything worked out during the length of the entire project. “We are proud of the way students handled the construction,” says Dr. Boggess. It is in Dr. Boggess’ hopes for the students living in Towers to find that the dorms are like being at home. She also took the time to thank Bill Fraley, Director of Housing and all of the Resident Directors and Assistants here at Concord University.

    Catherina Santos shared with the audience her experience during her first visit to campus. She told them how her arrival to North Tower was a completely new experience for her. She considers the dorms home. Now that North and South Towers are renovated, Santos thinks the dorms definitely feel more homelike. “They’re fresh rooms that can help give a new day and a new experience so students can do great,” says Santos.

    North Tower lobby was alive with music from the CU Jazz Ensemble, refreshments provided by Aramark, and the lively student conversations. Room tours for all of the residence halls and a photo opportunity with the CU Cheer Team and the CU Mascot Roar were also attractions.

    There were also some fun events that took place Wednesday as well. Vain Colby did a demonstration of good microwave cooking. “Spin the Wheel’ games, prizes, and t-shirt giveaways also colored the evening. To top the night off, the crowd was entertained by a performance from comedian Derrick Knopsnyder.

    Derick Foster thinks the Towers renovation was a great project. “It was the smoothest project I’ve ever been involved with during my years of working,” states Foster. All of them worked hard to make sure that they completed the project within the allotted 18 months. Jody Driggs feels the same way. He gave a message of thanks to Concord University for the opportunity to work for them.

    Attending the ceremony as well was former Housing Director of Housing and Residential Life Dale Geiger. Rick Dillon, Vice President of Administration & Associate Dean of Students, attended along with Board of Governors member Richard Jarrell, and Vice President of Advancement Alicia Besenyei.

    The entire renovation project cost $16.5 million. As of this semester, 550 students are living in the Towers dorms. Bill Fraley, Director of Housing and Resident Life, says the Towers are nicer facilities for the students. “I hope it helps with student recruitment. I hope more students come here and stay here,” Fraley adds.

    The construction for the North and South Tower residence halls started in September 1969, and was completed by 1970. Around the time that construction began, a dining hall was built to hold 500 students in what is now the fitness center. At one point, there was a post office housed in the North Tower lobby.

    Concord University has a great, refreshed part to its campus. Bill Fraley feels that North and South Tower are pretty recognizable landmarks: “When people think of Concord, they will think of Towers,” says Santos. With the achievement of renovating North and South Towers, hopefully this achievement can be another step into building a grand future for Concord University.

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