New Student Success Center Under Construction in Former Wiley Hall Auditorium

A far departure from the original auditorium, this simulated rendering of the center offers a look into the future of the Student Success Center.

Guest contributor, Emmett Donavan

In the name of student success, major renovations are underway on Wiley Hall’s second floor to create a more inviting space for students to seek academic support.
According to Dean of Student Success Travis Proffitt, the process of renovating the former Wiley Hall auditorium into a new student success center has been in the works since early 2021.
The opening of the McGlothlin Center for the Arts in 2015 rendered the large room essentially out of operation, making it a space for the growing student success team to take root.
Proffitt described an office space with an open, comfortable lobby in which students would be able to relax during their free time. The center will also contain seven distinct offices, a small classroom, a staff break room, and an all-inclusive bathroom.
According to Proffitt, the creative vision behind the center is to counteract the somewhat intimidating aura that students have expressed about Wiley Hall.
“It feels like you’re going to the principal’s office when you’re coming into Wiley Hall, and we want students to come up here and not feel like they’re in trouble,” he said. “We want it to feel vibrant and inviting.”
In response to the growing population at the college, this expansion of the Powell Resource Center will allow for the student success team to have a more centralized space.
First-year advising staff, student success coaches, and tutoring services will all be moved into the space, while the current PRC offices will become dedicated to counseling and disability services. Athletic success staff will also take up a part-time residence in the area to further incorporate the athletics department into the heart of campus.
Carleigh Blaylock, a student success coach, believes that moving into the new space will also open more space for the current counseling offices to expand their staff and to reach more students.
“It keeps it a little more private, as well, so that people who are coming for counseling, who may not be comfortable being in an open space, can come and have somewhere more private,” she said regarding the changes that will be made to the counseling center.
According to Proffitt, the Paul Adrian Powell family donated the funding necessary for the project and were excited about the prospect for a place where students could go to better achieve their goals at E&H.
Current plans are for construction to wrap up in late April and for staff to move in over the summer. The center is expected to be open and serving students by the start of the 2022-2023 school year.