Departments move to Brown Building, leave office space vacant

At its formal dedication ceremony last week, it was remarked that Brown Hall will be the “beating heart of campus”—a centralized location that will house multiple student services departments. But with the departments consolidated in the new facility, questions arise about the usage of the office space vacated by the departments.

Doc Bryan Student Services Building was the home of the departments of Admissions, Financial Aid, Registrar, Student Accounts and the card office until they, one-by-one, moved into the Brown Building over the course of the past two months as space became available.

With several office suits in Doc Bryan now empty, university officials have said that plans for the space’s new usage are still informal.

“We’re working towards the plans. No, we don’t have plans yet–we’re working towards those,” Susie Nicholson, vice president of student services and university relations said. “We have an idea of what we want to do, and we know what we need to do.”

Informal plans shared by Nicholson consist of shifting remaining departments to different office suites and moving the Health and Wellness Center from Dean Hall into the space vacated by Financial Aid and Student Accounts.

“In the Health and Wellness Center right now, our hands are kind of tied as far as space goes because the demand for counseling, the demand for our health services, continues to grow and grow, so the space will give us the opportunity to serve more students.

Nicholson said an architecture firm is working with university leadership to create a formal plan that can be presented to the board of trustees.

Several other departments moved into the Brown Building from other locations across campus. Locations included W.O. Young Building, Administration Building, Browning Hall and Ross Pendergraft Library. All but two of these vacated office spaces have new tenants already.

The two office suites currently remaining vacant, besides those in Doc Bryan, are the former Human Resources Department space in Browning Hall and space in the administration building formerly occupied by the budget and accounting staff.

The former Human Resources office is currently being considered for use as additional office space for adjuncts by two academic departments.

The space in the Administration Building has yet to be decided upon. An email from Dr. Jeff Mott, chief of staff to the president, said new a new use for this space “has not been determined at this point.”