by Noel Holton Brathwaite
Are you looking for a place to catch up with friends between classes, blow off some steam at the pool table after a particularly grueling exam, or just sit in a comfortable chair staring out of a huge bay window as the clouds roll by? Well, look no further. Just drop by the newly renovated Conklin Hall any day of the week and catch a game of foozeball, pop in your favorite video game and play it on one of several flat screen televisions or visit the Student Affairs Office to find out about the latest clubs and activities on campus.
Tons of students were out to see the grand re-opening of Conklin and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday, September 5, 2017.
“Conklin Hall is so important for our campus,” said senior Meghan Chorusey, who also belongs to Farmingdale’s Student Government Association (SGA). “It’s not just any other building for classrooms or administration. It was made for the students! I love this idea because it shows how much Farmingdale truly cares about campus life and the way students experience Farmingdale.”
The Conklin Hall that visitors see today is the result of a $12 million renovation. The nearly 20,000-square-foot building is over 100 years old and was originally used as a power plant. During the building’s evolution, it has served many purposes. In the 1930s, it housed a dairy test laboratory, and in the 1950s, it was the home of the school’s business and art and design programs.
“This place is great because it is so centrally located,” said Farmingdale junior and SGA senator Messiah Gaymon. “Where Student Affairs was located before was very out of the way in Roosevelt Hall. It was almost like a bat cave and people sometimes had a hard time finding us. Since we have moved to Conklin Hall, people have been coming in non-stop.”
The foot traffic is hardly surprising given Conklin Hall’s convenient location adjacent to the Campus Center and Gleason Hall. Aesthetically speaking, it is difficult to ignore the handsome and stately building that was was completely gutted to make way for all new mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, numerous energy efficient upgrades and impressive features such a new radio station complete with a DJ room installed inside of an acoustical box. The renovation was overseen by general contractor Stalco Construction and BRB Architects (both based in New York).
The excitement is palpable when you walk into the new Conklin Hall these days. Sophomore Lailani Gibson, who is also a member of the SGA, put it this way, “You can genuinely feel the all of the new energy on campus and this new building is a big part of that.”