It is a winding maze of hallways and classrooms. It is the building that everyone has class in at some point in their college career. It is the place of weak air conditioning. It is the Forest Drive building.
“When it comes to the zombie apocalypse, it will probably be the last building standing,” said Michael Pemberton, director of the Writing Center.
The Forest Drive building is about 20 years old and is an important part of campus academics.
The Forest Drive building is home to the Writing Center, foreign languages department, the center for international studies and several other departments.
“I’m not convinced that other people know what they are complaining about. It’s hot because you don’t know it’s hotter someplace else. It’s all a matter of perspective,” Eric Kartchner, Forest Drive building coordinator, said. “I’ve been in a lot worse buildings than this. It would be nice if aesthetically some of the doors weren’t chipped. But those things aren’t what makes a building.”
Many complaints made by students have been about the air conditioning circulation, according to Baldwin.
“It sucks. It’s cold or really hot and it smells funny sometimes. It’s just a trailer they bolted to the ground. The couches are dope though,” Keith Bohanon, junior psychology major, said.
Joyce Baldwin, administrative assistant in the history department, as well as other members of administration, sees a different side of the beloved building.
“There was talk of getting another building, but then they started fixing it up so we were like: ‘Oh we’re going to be here awhile!’ Some offices, we paid to have the carpets changed. The flooring underneath had basically rotted. And we’ve had some offices that had problems with mold. There was one that had to be repainted because of the mold,” Baldwin said.
Kartchner sees Forest Drive as a learning environment for students that is just as comfortable as the newer buildings on campus.
“I think of a building as being a place that allows me to serve students and as being a comfortable location. I don’t know from the student perspective how you would feel but there are a lot of buildings on campus that may be newer and brick and mortar that I don’t feel as comfortable in. I like our rooms. I like our offices and I have no problem with it,” Kartchner said.
Every student has to come through here as part of their core classes so they feel like there should be a nicer building, nicer facilities for an area where every student will have to come, Baldwin said.
Pemberton said, “It’s an older building but it’s certainly proved to be functional. It would be nice for the building to be renovated. I can think of changes that would be useful, like larger classrooms and additional space for some of the departments that are packed in here fairly tightly.”