By Leonel Henriquez
When Lehman President José Luis Cruz cut the ribbon at the Lehman Performing Arts Center renovation last week, it marked the start of a host of capital improvements slated for 2018. Next year will see the campus bookstore moved to the old gym building to make way for a new 50,000 square foot building to house the nursing program. A 350-bed residence hall/dorm and phase II of the Science Hall will further change the campus skyline, at an estimated cost of $ 282.8 million dollars.
Cruz laid out these plans to students at a lunch with the student government association (SGA) and the general student body in the Student Life Building on Oct. 25. At this event, the president also noted that Gillet Hall auditorium and the Lovinger Theatre would be renovated, with the latter to have its seats re-upholstered and reconfigured to provide greater wheelchair access.
Senior, biology major, and SGA member Kimberly Pereyra was excited about the announcement, telling the Meridian, “I think it’s really great that they will fixing some of the auditoriums that are run down like the one in Gillet.”
Chris Higgins, technical director for Lehman Stages, is impressed with Cruz’ efforts so far. “I think it’s great that the new president has been able to raise so much money in such a short time that he’s been on the job,” he said. But Higgins added that rather than prioritizing new construction, “I would really prefer to see more money going into repairs and renovation, particularly here in the theatre building, where there are so many leaky pipes in the basement.”