CAP expansion dooms Crispo Hall’s future

Crispo Hall residents will be saying goodbye to their living quarters for good at the end of this academic year.

Gannon University’s Office of Student Living is planning to demolish the hall to make room for the new Carneval Athletic Pavilion renovations.

The new recreation center will feature a synthetic turf field house, facilities for cardiovascular equipment, a second weight room, a gathering space, a café and an expanded and revitalized aquatic center.

In addition, the existing basketball and racquetball courts, the locker rooms and second-story multipurpose rooms will be updated and refreshed.

Constructed in 1987, Crispo Hall was named after the Rev. Alphonse F. Crispo, who started teaching at Gannon in 1948.

At one point, Crispo taught in five different departments: theology, history, philosophy, languages and literature. He was born in Italy in 1912 and died in Rochester, N. Y., in 1985.

The building is currently home to 90 students. Its flattening would cause students who were planning to stay in Crispo next year to consider other housing options.

Denise Bakerink, director of the Office of Student Living, said plans are under way to make the transition as smooth and easy as it can be.

“We are not building new residence halls so what we have to do is find spaces within our existing capacity to house the students,” Bakerink said.

“We would probably be giving them first priority in choosing where to live, since their housing is being taken away from them.”

Bakerink said although no plans are concrete yet, the Office of Student Living is looking at the capacity for the rest of the residence halls. The office is considering increasing the capacities in Walker Apartments, Wickford and Kenilworth Halls to take up the residents of Crispo. As a result, fewer one-bedroom apartments will be available.

Another option the university is considering is making one more floor in North Hall available for upperclassmen, which would bring down the number of floors available to freshmen to two.

“We’re not worried that we don’t have enough space – we’ll find room,” Bakerink said. “It is kind of sad because those are appealing housing units for students.”

Ashley Ortiz, a sophomore social work student who currently lives in Crispo, said she wasn’t worried about finding another place to live.

“There’s plenty of space for upperclassmen to live on campus,” Ortiz said. “I don’t mind them taking it down as long as it brings up something better for our campus.”

Annlyn Harvey, a public administration graduate student and the resident director of Crispo Hall for the second year, said she finds it hard to see Crispo or other buildings at Gannon renovated or closed, but that it was a needed change.

“It has been part of Gannon’s community for a long time and it is very homey and students seem to enjoy it there,” Harvey said. “But I think it would be a positive foot forward to what Gannon needs to do to renovate the facilities and do some more cutting edge things.

“It would be a great addition to campus and it would be very welcoming to students that are looking for that sort of improvement.”

Leen al-Hamarneh, a sophomore finance major, said renovating the recreational center at Gannon was a necessary step.

“I think it’s a good idea to expand the gym because we need a bigger one,” al-Hamarneh said. “I’m wondering where all the upperclassmen are going to live next year though.”

The Office of Student Living has not decided if students are going to be charged for unintentional damages made in Crispo.

“We certainly don’t want students making damages in Crispo just because it’s coming down,” Bakerink said. “We don’t want to have a lot of maintenance concerns throughout the year.

“We’re hoping people can still treat it with respect and still take care of the building.”



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