MACHIAS, Maine — Kimball Hall, the century-old architectural centerpiece of the University of Maine at Machias campus, is undergoing renovations designed to provide students with more comfortable and usable space.
The focus of the renovations within the 1913 building is Portside, a space that over the years has hosted countless events and meetings. Big-screen televisions have been added to the room, along with a makeover of new paint and trim.
Because this space is being redone for students, Christopher Zukas, director of campus activities, said students will decide what eventually happens to the room.
“It will be purely a student space,” he said. “We have a business plan in progress and it should be done Dec 20. We’re looking into many options, but students have to decide. We want to know what we can do to make the space conducive to students. We’ll be surveying students and we have put together a student union advisory board.”
“I’d love to see Portside be more like a lounge,” said Jake Snyder, a junior from Canterbury, Conn., who is majoring in Marine Biology. “They’re in the process of this now.”
“Our next goal is to install two handicap-accessible bathrooms,” said Robert Farris, director of physical plant. “We also want this space to be accessible to both on- and off-campus students.”
After the recent closure of the campus bookstore that was adjacent to the campus recreation center, The Galley, located within Kimball Hall, has taken over the sale of supplies for classes, with most textbooks now available online. How the former bookstore space will be used in the future has yet to be determined.