Recently, the Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD), formerly known as Career Services, began renovations to update and improve their current office space. The new move comes as part of an overhaul of the office, which has seen several new changes and additions over the past year.
Renovations began during the fall semester and will continue until sometime in December, according to Director of the Center for Career and Professional Development Joy Asher.
“We’re supposed to, according to the construction schedule, move in sometime in the first week or two of December, but since we’re waiting on furniture to come in we are looking toward the first of the year, with a grand opening sometime in January,” Asher said.
The renovations will include a number of improvements and changes to the office, including new lighting, flooring and painting, and will help give the office a new, fresh look and feel.
“A lot of the furniture we had been using was pretty old and kind of bulky, so the new furniture along with the rest of the renovations should help the office feel a little sleeker and nicer,” Asher said.
The most significant change however is not the aesthetic renovations, but a structural change to the layout of the space.
“Besides the new lighting, flooring and furniture, we are making a bit of a change in the layout of our office,” Asher said.
“The reception area will be moved to the back room where the former student research area was, and in the front we will have an area for students to work, research, and just hang out.”
The new area will not only be a space for students to work with counselors and other CCPD workers, but will also serve as a general study space for students to work and relax. The new space will provide students with tables and computers, as well as coffee, to work in a quiet environment.
“It will be set up kind of like a café area. Students can get coffee and do homework as well as doing research or working with one of our workers while they wait for an appointment. We’ve heard that options for study and work spaces on campus always seem to be slim, so having another area will be useful for students,” Asher said.
“Ultimately, we hope that the new student-use space will be a friendly, accessible space for students and where students can talk more informally about resources and career-related plans with each other and office staff,” Assistant Director of the Center for Career and Professional Development Mindy Wilson said.
Asher hopes that between the new student area in their office and the Evans-Lively room (where the Office for Global Citizenship is located) that Carnegie will become a more common place for students to come visit and study in.
While renovations are underway, Asher and the rest of the staff are currently working out of the dining room located upstairs in Old Carnegie, which, while cramped, is a nice change of pace for the office.
“While noise may be a bit of a problem, this is probably the nicest temporary space you could have. It’s also nice being in the same building so that we don’t lose any traffic by moving to somewhere like Chowan.”
Plans for renovation came after extensive talks with Facilities Management staff.
“As with all capital projects, the staff of the Center and Professional Development worked with our facilities staff, specifically Scott Messer, to develop a plan and a budget,” Dean of the College Stephanie Fabritius said.
After plans and a budget were set, the budget was submitted for approval by CCPD to a committee led by Vice President for Finance Bob Keasler that is responsible for reviewing such requests.
While the plans were eventually approved by the committee as part of a reorganization of the Center, there were special circumstances that prevented a total renovation of the work space.
“With a historic building like Old Carnegie, we weren’t allowed to tear down walls or anything like that,” Asher said.
“We suggested tearing down the doorway into the office to create a more open space as you walk in, but we were very politely talked out of doing that,” Asher joked.
With Old Carnegie listed in the National Register of Historic Places, certain renovations could not be made.
“In the case of the refurbishment of the Center for Career and Professional Development, we needed to be sure to keep the integrity of the historical nature of the building,” Dean Fabritius said.
As previously mentioned, the renovations come as part of a larger overhaul of the CCPD, which included the appointment of Joy Asher as the new director, replacing former director Deb Jones.
In addition to the renovations and new director, the CCPD also hired two new full-time staff members, as well as implementing several programs.
Students should expect an official announcement on the upcoming open house in the next few weeks.