Summer campus enhancements keep RIT active

Barnes and Noble @ RIT, MAGIC Center among campus upgrades

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A. Sue Weisler

Murals featuring campus scenes were hung at Barnes and Noble @ RIT.

The Gene Polisseni Center

Construction has continued on the future home of RIT hockey, the Gene Polisseni Center. Upon completion, the arena will be approximately 105,000 square feet, or about three times the size of Ritter Arena. All pile driving is complete after about 5 miles of metal was put into the ground. The construction crews are now working on the next stage of the project—excavating stone from around the hundreds of piles to build wooden forms that will allow for installation of the concrete caps to support the poured structure. Structural steel—the “skeleton” of the building—has arrived 
on site. For construction updates, follow 
@PolisseniCenter on Twitter. 

Barnes and Noble @ RIT

Renovations to Barnes and Noble @ RIT are complete. The summer brought the addition of a new Clinique cosmetic and fragrance department on the first floor, as well as the relocation of RIT Digital Den to the second floor. All hardware, software and accessories, including a new Apple store, are now at Barnes and Noble @ RIT—with the exception of photography-related merchandise, which will remain in Monroe Hall. 

Murals featuring campus scenes were also hung on the walls and the children’s book department has a new look, featuring a stage and sitting area. 

Student Innovation Hall

Renovations to Student Innovation 
Hall are expected to be completed when students return. 

Walls were added and new furniture was installed. Four coaching labs for the Simone Center for Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship, small meeting rooms accommodating four to six people were built and the new Media, Arts, Games, Interaction and Creativity (MAGIC) 
Center is set to open in October. 

The multidisciplinary MAGIC Center, devoted to the burgeoning field of digital media, will be comprised of two parts: 
A university-wide research and development laboratory and a production studio that will assist in efforts to bring digital 
media creations up to marketplace 
standards and commercialized.

The previously open-spaced room of Student Innovation Hall will now be home to a computer lab, coaching studios, offices, 
a production studio and a multipurpose open studio in the center. Designed to bridge the gap between research and 
prototyping, this center will serve as 
a central workplace for students, faculty 
and staff from across RIT’s colleges. 

“We hope to see people working on 
projects beyond the 15 weeks of a semester,” says Andy Phelps, the founding director of the MAGIC Center. “I can’t wait to see the exploration of digital and interactive media, games, social software, free and open-source software, simulation, visualization and more that comes out of this center.”

The Innovative Learning Institute, 
which supports systematic experimentation with and adoption of emerging modes and 
models of teaching and learning, now has a studio resembling a large conference room. 

There will still be a general-purpose 
space in the center of the hall that can be used for presentations.

Sebastian and Lenore Rosica Hall

Construction is mostly completed on Sebastian and Lenore Rosica Hall. The two-story, 23,000-square-foot building, which will be connected to the Dining Commons, is intended to house research, innovation and entrepreneurship at NTID. A formal ribbon cutting ceremony is planned for 
Oct. 11, but the building will start to be 
occupied in August. Art installations and 
a meditation garden are being added.

College of Liberal Arts 

RIT’s Liberal Arts Hall got a new look over the summer that included paint; carpeting; crown molding; hallway doors installed on the first, second and third floors; and new furniture—with a twist—in classrooms. Each classroom has a different furniture color, which signifies an integration of the different disciplines comprising the College of Liberal Arts. 

“Our goal is to create a new learning 
environment for our students,” says Dean James Winebrake. “This flexible furniture selection is designed to inspire group-based learning.” Additionally, the newly remodeled Stan McKenzie Commons, named 
after the former RIT provost and English 
professor, will officially open this fall. 

Credit Union 

The Advantage Federal Credit Union is moving from the basement of the Student Alumni Union to Global Village.

The Wallace Center

The first floor of The Wallace Center 
has been transformed to better support 
academic success and scholarship.

Complementing services offered 
by The Wallace Center’s RIT Libraries, 
Faculty Development and RIT Production, the new design will feature the addition 
of the Writing Commons and the RIT American Sign Language & Deaf Studies Community Center previously located 
in the Student Alumni Union.

The first floor has new carpet and 
paint and features better space utilization, improvements in lighting, and new 
flexible furniture and study areas.