A year and a half after renovations were completed, SUNY Cortland will hold a pandemic-delayed ribbon-cutting to celebrate the $25 million transformation of Moffett Center.
The President’s Office will host the ceremony at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 10, in the sun-lit central gathering area of the nearly 70-year-old building. Before the renovation, that space was a 1950s-era gymnasium.
“Although many members of the campus community have experienced the new Moffett Center, many have not, and we hope they will take this opportunity to visit,” President Erik J. Bitterbaum said. “It really is an amazing academic space.”
In addition to Bitterbaum, speakers include Zach Newswanger, associate vice president for facilities management, and Taylor Hunter, Student Government Association president.
The gymnasium has been transformed into a 3,400-square-foot forum filled with study alcoves and comfortable furniture where students and faculty can meet. New skylights flood the atrium with natural light, while a second level mezzanine offers access to a variety of reimagined classrooms.
Sawubona, a coffee shop that opened in Moffett Center a year ago, serves premium African coffee and specialty sandwiches.
The transformation has been a long time coming. Phase I of the Moffett Center update was completed in 2009. It renovated 20,000 square feet of main level space encompassing the pool area and back wall facing Sperry Center into modern classrooms, offices and a lounge area for the Sociology/Anthropology Department.
A second phase was designed in 2011, but the economic recession ground progress on the renovation to a halt. New York state only released funds to carry out the remaining updating in 2020. The pandemic then delayed campus events like ribbon cuttings.
“It has taken longer than we expected,” Bitterbaum said. “But it was definitely worth the wait.”