New Student Center Nearly Complete

Students relax in Wilson's new student center Photo by Casey Beidel
Students relax in Wilson’s new student center
Photo by Casey Beidel

Since the repurposing of Sarah’s Coffee House into a temporary library annex in late 2011, Wilson students have wanted a new place to relax, socialize and hang out. The new student center was designed with these purposes in mind.

The student center is located on the ground floor of McElwain-Davison Hall (Mac/Dav) near the post office. The newly renovated gym is now host to the training equipment and fitness center, which allowed its previous location to become a dedicated space for students to gather.

Director of Residence Life Sherri Sadowski, in conjunction with the Wilson College Government Association (WCGA), has been hard at work to create a space that responds to the student body’s needs. According to Sadowski, “The new student center does more than Sarah’s Coffee House ever did.”

WCGA presidents Stephanie Bachman ’12, Janelle Wills ’13, and Caileigh Oliver ’14 have been involved in the new student center project since its beginning in spring 2012. After collecting student surveys and weighing potential options during “Pizza Talks,” the project was approved by the board of trustees in May and the construction process began shortly after.

The new space looks more “industrial” than the fitness center did before it, and that is because the room has been stripped down to start fresh with a new look. In addition to removing the old drop ceiling, new carpet has been added, along with fresh paint, new furniture, multiple HDTVs, media players, games and even a kitchenette.  The new student center looks “honestly very different,” said Sadowski.

Setbacks stalled the completion of the project and delayed its official opening. The newly-exposed ceiling caused problems for the painters, as cracking paint prevented the furnishing of the room multiple times. There were also problems with a section of piping, but all of these issues are resolved.

The student center is scheduled for a follow-up review by the owner, contractor and architect— a process known as “completing the punch list.” Sadowski affirms that this process is normal for all commercial building projects.

The student center is currently open for scheduled use in the evenings, but remains closed to the general study body for now. Though according to Sadowski, “Once we get the final signoff it will be open 24 hours.”

Sadowski wants students to “Show up and use it to the max and demonstrate that they will use the space they’ve asked for. It will make similar projects possible in the future.”

For scheduling, fill out a WCGA student center request form, available at the WCGA office, and return it to the WCGA. For questions about scheduling, contact Caileigh Oliver at

For more information on the student center, contact Sherri Sadowski at

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