NEC Art Village construction nearly complete

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By: Michael Barnard

With the merger between the Henniker and IAD campuses finally coming to a head this fall, all eyes seem to be on the renovations being conducted within Carriage House. What many students remember as a maze-like building with hot, stuffy rooms for the occasional writing class is speedily turning into an open, modern space the arts students who are calling Henniker home.

The updates within the building are noticeable immediately to any student familiar. What was once a carpeted, enclosed building that challenged the heat of late summer is now filled with hard floors, modernized lighting fixtures, and air conditioning. An impressive display of dark rooms, presses, and art supply rooms fill the building formerly composed of mostly chairs and white boards. Even with these new updates, students and faculty have varying opinions on the overall nature of the project. 

“It’s amazing,” President Wayne Lesperance said. “I think we’re in pretty good shape. The feedback I’ve gotten from the faculty and students has been fairly positive, so I appreciate that, and I can’t wait to have a kind of grand opening in a sense.” 

In spite of administrative hopes, some students have differing views on the project. 

Isaac Galano, a Junior at NEC and former Manchester campus resident, holds strong opinions on the matter.

“The construction is very obviously rushed,” Galano said. “The school could have, and should have, done a lot more to help in the merger instead of just shoving the Manchester students here where we’ve been getting treated like freshmen.”

Kay Donahue, an NEC sophomore and arts student, has hope for a more positive semester. “I think this merge has been a hard change for a lot of us here, especially because many are seniors this year and felt like they lost a part of their home,” Donahue said. “But overall, I think this is going to be a very positive change for all of us. Everyone I’ve talked and interacted with on the Henniker campus so far have been so kind and welcoming to me, and I’m excited to call this my new campus.”

Finally, Gabe Reynolds, an NEC sophomore and Henniker resident, threw his opinion into the ring. “I have faith that as things go on and we all get more comfortable with the change, any barricades will disappear,” Reynolds said. 

The building is expected to be fully up and running by October, according to Lesperance.

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