Richard B. Flynn Campus Union Dedication
SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Feb. 4, 2010 – Springfield College dedicated the new Richard B. Flynn Campus Union, named in honor of the college’s president, at a ceremony in the building’s main lobby Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010, before an audience of the college’s students, faculty, staff, trustees and guests, numbering in the hundreds.
Sally M. Griggs, chair of the Springfield College board of trustees, presided over the event. The college’s trustees recently announced its decision to name the building for Flynn, who has been the 12th president of the college since 1999. Flynn cut a ceremonial maroon ribbon, assisted by student leaders, officially opening the campus union. Following the ceremony, the campus union was open for tours, and refreshments were served.
The 58,500-square-foot campus union contains many high quality spaces in support of the college’s extensive student activity programs.
“It is fitting that a student-centered building is named for Dick Flynn,” Griggs said. “Since day one, his priority has been to ensure that each Springfield College student receives the best educational experience, and to do so in a learning and living environment that offers new and enhanced state-of-the-art facilities, outstanding instruction and programming, and a vibrant campus life.”
The new campus union includes space for student organizations and activities, international programs, career services, volunteer programs, residence life, and the administrative staff of the student affairs division. It features a food court with a two-story atrium for casual dining, sports bistro with large flat-screen televisions, and the spiritual life center with a meditation room. Other areas within the union include a large sub-dividable multi-purpose room with LCD projectors, bookstore, convenience store, post office, several conference rooms and lounges, and activity space. The building’s entrance features a rotunda illuminated with computer-controlled colored lighting and topped by an electric carillon programmed to play 500 songs and sounds. All entrances are equipped with large flat-screen televisions displaying daily schedules of campus events and announcements. Landscaping includes an adjacent multilevel terrace with lake views, which will also be the site of college events.
According to Flynn, “It is a proud moment for Springfield College to open this outstanding new hub of our campus. The campus union will dramatically enhance student life and facilitate our education of tomorrow’s leaders. It is an architecturally magnificent and symbolic addition to our campus in this, the college’s 125th year. Its traditional facades along Alden Street and Naismith Green complement our historic campus buildings and beautiful New England campus. The soaring modern glass side faces Lake Massasoit, allowing a spectacular vista for students, faculty, staff, alumni and visitors. The new campus union – including both space and programming – is consistent with, and supportive of, our long-standing mission of educating students in spirit, mind and body for leadership in service to others.”
This spring, the college will install a life-sized bronze statue of James Naismith on the building’s front plaza. It will depict Naismith, who invented the game of basketball at Springfield College in 1891, holding a basketball and seated on a bench with space for others.
According to John L. Mailhot, Springfield College vice president for administration and finance, “We’ve given great attention to creating a durable structure with high quality materials and visually appealing details inside and out. More than 200,000 bricks were made in a shade of red to blend with the college’s historic buildings. A grand staircase in the tiled main lobby features special woodworking, and will frame a mural being planned to illustrate the full spectrum of student life. The college’s seal is forged in interior and exterior wrought iron.”
The campus union is the final building project supported by the largest fund-raising campaign in Springfield College’s history. The campaign closed in 2008 at $44.5 million, 11 percent above its goal. It also supported construction of the Wellness and Recreation Complex, including the Wellness Center and Field House, that opened in 2008, and Schoo-Bemis Science Center, a classroom building expanded and remodeled into a state-of-the-art science teaching facility in 2007.
The college also designated Feb. 4, 2010, as Founders Day, commemorating the college’s establishment in 1885. Founders Day is one of a year-long series of campus events celebrating Springfield College’s 125th anniversary.
The architect for the campus union was Symmes Maini & McKee Associates of Cambridge, Mass. The general contractor was Erland Construction, Inc., of Burlington, Mass.