Writer vs. Writer: Have Recent Campus Additions Been a Good Use of Donor Money?

by The Cowl Editor on February 7, 2019


Photo of the Friar Development Center.
The Ruane Friar Development Center, officially opened in September 2018, is the most recent addition to campus. Photo courtesy of Lillie Hunter ’22.

by Elizabeth McGinn ’21

In 2019, the beautiful Providence College campus is very different from the same grounds only 10 or 15 years ago. The busy Huxley Avenue used to separate upper and lower campus, and both dorms and academic buildings were outdated by at least 30 years.

Now, the picturesque campus is the epitome of a classic New England college. A plethora of new facilities, monuments, and buildings decorate the grounds. In beautifying the College, funds have been extremely well-spent.

Suites Hall, the Arthur F. and Patricia Ryan Center for Business Studies, the Science Complex, Ruane Center for the Humanities, Slavin Center, and the Ruane Friar Development Center are just a few of the new buildings to grace the campus.

In addition to the facilities, new features have also given the grounds a facelift. One of the most prominent changes to the landscapes is the elimination of Huxley Avenue, which created a unified campus.

By updating the campus and its grounds, all aspects of student life are improved, including academics and sports.

Within the past 15 years, almost all of the major academic buildings have been built or renovated. Through these modernizations, PC maintains its primary commitment to education. The newer buildings also boast the most up-to-date technologies, which aid students of all majors in learning.

However, some buildings have not yet been treated to a much-needed makeover, like Phillips Memorial Library. If the recent spending trends continue, hopefully the library will be next in line for a refurbishment.

Sports facilities have also been a focus of spending. The Ruane Friar Development Center, with study areas open to everyone, increases PC’s desirability for prospective athletes. Top of the line amenities also engender the best sports teams and players.

Through these additions and beautifications, PC can physically demonstrate its success to its community, alumni, and prospective students. The College has risen in status and prestige over the past few decades, and the campus and grounds reflect this.

Because a physically beautiful college attracts students and faculty, these updates will continue PC’s upward climb. We know how much heart PC has to offer, but now its exterior is finally equal to its laurels.


by Marie Sweeney ’20

College campuses all over the U.S. are constantly under construction to maintain their physical development and appearance, and Providence College is no exception.

In the past decade, PC has undergone several construction jobs, spearheaded by the Campus Transformation Project after the purchase of most of Huxley Avenue in 2013.

While PC has made some efficient and positive changes to the appearance and accessibility of campus within the past few years, the College is not utilizing its funds effectively or beneficially to promote the betterment of campus life.

While projects such as Huxley Avenue and the Science Complex have been successful and beneficial, there are several new structures and developments that are not necessary compared to other campus needs.

In the last few years, PC has faced a housing issue in which there is almost not enough housing available for the amount of students.

This has led several of the first-year dorms to not only implement forced quads, but also to assign sophomores to live in freshman dorms.

Additionally, a lot of the residence halls at PC have not been updated or renovated in decades.

Since one’s room on campus is a very important aspect of one’s life at school, this can have a negative impact on student life and the image of the College for prospective students.

The College needs to recognize the needs of students and prioritize them over massive structures such as the Calabria Plaza and the Ruane Friar Development Center. Catherine Flugel ’20 said, “The college needs to focus their attention on more important projects that students have spoken out about. I just don’t understand the purpose of some of the newer buildings when there are so many other more urgent fixes.”

While physical beautification, renovation, and upkeep of campus is important to maintain PC’s image, the college needs to recognize that student comfort and contentment is just as, if not more, important.

The allocation of funds should be focused on improving outdated buildings such as Aquinas Hall and St. Joseph’s Hall or even to construct a new residence hall to fix the housing issue. This will create a more comfortable environment for students and have a positive impact on student life.