One thing a tour guide said during a tour of SNHU is that the campus is always evolving.
A few years ago, SNHU transformed a parking lot in the middle of campus into a quad. It has been one of the best and most notable changes. An additional green space will be taking place of the parking lot in front of Washington Hall in the next year. This is part of a university initiative to make our campus more walkable and similar to a traditional campus – with buildings and green space in the middle and parking on the outskirts.
Some could say that this mirrors gentrification. Gentrification occurs typically in large cities when homes or districts receive a facelift from larger companies. Due to the improvements, the cost of housing, or in our case, tuition would go up.
In addition to adding more green space, many old residence halls, such as the Lower Suites, are going down in favor of constructing newer, swankier dorms such as Kingston or Monadnock. This is similar to gentrification.
However, unlike gentrification there is reason behind the demolition of older dorms. Simply put, the Lower Suites and West Side Apartments were unsafe. One of them even burned down due to the aged wiring. The changes are solely for the benefit of the students.
Beyond dorms and green space, last year saw the new addition of Penmen Stadium to benefit sports teams, which is a good improvement for the athletics program.
Unfortunately, not all buildings are as lucky. The music program operates from an older house and does not have proper amenities that a booming music program requires.
When thinking of the transformation of parking lots to green spaces, there are complaints that parking will be reduced. However, while people are very dependent on their cars, having parking lots in the middle of campus is not only unattractive, but a safety hazard.
I cannot express how often people nearly get into car accidents due to the large parking lot located next to Washington. I would believe that similar problems were present when the main green space by Robert Frost was also a parking lot.
While parking lots may be changed, the Lower Suites will very likely become parking once torn down. Despite being farther from the rest of the school, it will be a massive improvement from what we have now.