The Department’s Sankey Room (South Hall 2623), originally established with the kind support of the Sankey family, was once a workspace, a lounge, and a mailroom before the formation of the South Hall Administrative Support Center in 2010. Since then, it has remained closed, as the university suffered severe budget cuts.
In 2013-14, the chair appointed a faculty committee to rethink the room’s functionality and to redesign the room as a complement to the CRC (Collaborative Research Commons, South Hall 2607). The committee polled the faculty for ideas, discussed it with Linda Flegal, then-Director of the South Hall Administrative Center, and came up with a plan. The department voted on the plan to transform the room into a multifunctional space: a room for small workshops, readings, discussions; for undergraduate units such as the English Club or The Catalyst magazine group to convene and store their materials; an informal space for faculty gatherings; a formal reception room for the many lectures and talks hosted by the centers; and a moveable art exhibit space. These functions would address the department’s present and future needs, in times when the department is moving toward more research-intensive and production-based curricula.
We are just completing the Sankey Room Redesign project this summer, and we hope to hold our Fall Welcome Reception there.