What’s New on Campus
As students, faculty and staff arrive back on campus for the start of the academic year, campus underwent a number of updates over the summer. From major construction projects to new services on campus, below is a highlight of what’s new on campus.
The School of Human Service Professions was proud to unveil a new health services building on campus ahead of the fall semester. Melrose Hall, located on Melrose Avenue between 17th and 18th Streets, is a brand new, state-of-the-art facility that will house the student-run Chester Community Pro Bono Clinic and the new occupational therapy doctoral program, which welcomed its first class this June. The building features interactive patient rooms, clinical labs and interdisciplinary workspaces to facilitate collaborative and inter-professional learning. Now in its tenth year, Widener’s nationally recognized clinic has continued to evolve its interdisciplinary approach to care that offers physical therapy, occupational therapy, clinical psychology and social work services for uninsured and underinsured clients.
Kapelski Learning Center
In May, the first of a two-phase $27 million renovation project kicked off at the Kapelski Learning Center. During phase one, which began in May, the construction project included an enclosure of the portico, one new classroom, an expansion of the lobby area and modifications to the lecture hall and the band room. The second and final phase will begin in May 2020 and run through May 2021. It will include a complete renovation of the rest of the building.
Also new in the Kapelski Learning Center is the renovated Wu Brew café. The café now offers expanded evening hours until 7 p.m. Mondays to Thursdays. Along with renovated space and comfortable seating, the café’s adjusted menu serves fresh baked pastries, artisanal sandwiches and salads for lunch and dinner, plus gourmet coffee drinks, market fresh smoothies and flavored teas.
After an unexpected flood caused by a broken pipe impacted an entire wing of Old Main last January, construction continued all summer to restore this campus landmark. The damaged offices included the Controller’s Unit, comprising budget, purchasing, accounts payable and accounting departments, the President’s suite, as well as offices belonging to University Relations and Alumni Engagement teams. After significant cleanup efforts, each floor of the wing underwent construction to rebuild Old Main for the second time in its history. Employees affected by the flood are expected to return to renovated offices early in the fall semester.
Esports, Widener’s 24th and first co-ed varsity sport, will find its home on the ground floor of University Center this fall. Construction is underway to transform the 1,300-square-foot former computer lab across from the Student Government Association office into the gaming team’s headquarters. Once complete, the space will feature 27 computers, each laser etched with the Widener Pride logo on the machines’ glass-panel shells, gaming tables and chairs, and a 119-inch screen centrally located in the room, designed for competition review and game watching. The entire space will be wired with a fiber optic internet connection to support a live-stream in the hallway outside, allowing spectators to watch athletes compete.
On-campus residents can enjoy updates in six residence halls across campus. Changes included full renovation projects, new furniture for common spaces and newly installed cooling and heating systems.
- Dixon Hall South - Full renovation and refurbishment of the building interior.
- Metropolitan Hall – New lounge furniture.
- Hanna Hall – Renovated lounges and bathrooms as well as new common space furniture.
- Kapelski and Moll Hall – Updated HVAC system.
- 507 E. 13th St. – Air conditioning installed.
- 1300 Potter – New roof and lighting installed along with interior and exterior architectural improvements.