Welcome to the ASB!
New building fosters sense of community
After breaking ground in late 2009, the new Administrative Services Building has opened. Several departments, including Student Financial Services, Graduate and Undergraduate Enrollment, and Advising have already taken up residence on the first and second floors. Additional departments are transitioning over in the next few months as well.
The ASB is the solution to several needs for Bellevue University. It will allow the University to bring several departments back to campus, including the Strategic Initiatives division, which had been located at the Lakeside building.
"The (anticipated) significance of moving everybody into the new building is we've got the staff together in spaces that connect them to the whole campus life scenario and keep them much more into the communication-information loop," said Mary Hawkins, Bellevue University President. "You get collaboration and communication from the building."
The six-story building (including the garden level) will also house Bellevue University's One Stop department, which will begin rolling out in January 2012. The mission of the One Stop department will be to provide students with one location where they can get answers to basic academic, financial, or enrollment questions.
"It's kind of the physical embodiment of the One Stop concept," Hawkins said. "That's a definite convenience and time savings on getting correct answers and getting to the people they need."
The ASB also houses the University's data center, which had outgrown its old home in the Riley Technology Center. The symposium room on the garden level and the flexibility it offers is already a favorite feature for Hawkins.
"We've done so many meetings here that I really wanted a very flexible space," she said. "The symposium room really turned out to be what I hoped it would be."
Many employees are coming from an office and cubicle environment into the more open work space of the ASB. While there may have been some apprehension about the change prior to the move, many have made the adjustment.
"I was unsure what to expect," said Curtis Freerking, International Programs Admissions Counselor. "I thought the work area might be a bit noisy. However, I really like the open area and especially the natural light that I did not have before. The area is not noisy, and it's easy to ask questions of co-workers. People tend to talk quietly, and I keep telling everyone to talk in a natural voice."
Yolanda Bell-Wilson, a Financial Services Counselor, echoed Freerking's thoughts.
"I love the new environment. It is open and, to me, promotes a team atmosphere," she said. "I thought it was going to be loud and hard to work when we first moved in but it is the opposite. You are able to see everyone on the different teams; it is bright with all of the windows and the sunlight that comes through them. This is a great way to boost morale and individual sprits with all of the natural light. I think that this is a great office atmosphere."
Employees and students were able to watch the building rise from a hole in the ground to its current shape over a two-year period.
"The building has really been an amazing thing to watch grow," said Jennifer Coleman, a Financial Services Counselor. "We were able to see the workers from beginning to end and the finished product is very nice."
Construction went on through a particularly cold and snowy winter in 2009-10 and some steamy summers as well.
"They were literally moving snow to build, which I thought was really interesting," Hawkins said. "The following summer was tremendously hot. They were pouring concrete at 2 a.m."
The third and fourth floors of the building will remain empty to allow for growth, but there is still some landscaping and interior artwork to be completed, Hawkins said.
"It's still not done," she explained. "We don't have some sculpture. It doesn't yet have all the plants – stuff that will tie it together."
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