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State quad maintenance prompts orientation switch to colonial

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Elevators, façades, and asbestos abatement — summer renovations are coming to State Quad, prompting a move in freshman orientation to Colonial Quad.

All three projects, according to Senior Communications Specialist Mike Nolan, are part of the university’s ongoing efforts to upgrade and maintain residence halls.

Beyond the $3.9 million price tag for the renovations, there are other costs: freshman orientation, historically held on State Quad, will be moving to Colonial Quad.

Holly Barker-Flynn, UAlbany’s director of Orientation and Transition Programs, said she and her team are taking the relocation in stride.

This is not the first time orientation has been on Colonial Quad, according to Barker-Flynn.

“My first summer that I took over as director for orientation we were on Colonial so it’s been a few years since we’ve been back there,” she said. “I’m returning to my original roots.”

With State Quad unavailable this summer, Colonial Quad was the only other option to host orientation. The Educational Opportunity Program, known as EOP, uses Indian Quad and renovations are also slated for Dutch Quad, Barker-Flynn said.

Freshmen students will occupy five low-rise buildings on the quad. The quad office in Livingston Tower and Herkimer Hall, the newly renovated hall on Colonial, will be used as a summer operations space for orientation staff.

Besides location, there will be no other major changes to the program. Meals will be served in the Colonial Quad dining hall and a new location has been selected for the outdoor activities usually held on the soccer field behind State Quad.

“Now because of our proximity to Collins Circle we will be going back there this summer to have the ‘Dane Games’ out on Collins Circle,” said Barker-Flynn.

Freshmen students have the option to live on either State or Indian Quad. With orientation held on Colonial, freshmen student’s first dose of UAlbany will be on what is typically a sophomore quad. However, Barker-Flynn is not concerned.

“New students don’t really know the difference,” she said. “When we are on our tours we will point out the freshman living areas to them.”

“Many of them will, if they have visited on the tour through admissions, have seen State Quad because that’s where the admissions tour room is,” Barker-Flynn added.

Nearby construction on Building 27, the old Business Administration building, may potentially impact students’ orientation experience and image of the university.

“It’s all about first impressions,” said Barker-Flynn, who added that orientation staff will work with facilities to make things look tidier. “As a new student and a new family member you want to make sure we’re putting our best foot forward,” she added.

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