The new Carl and Ruth Shapiro Admissions Center opened to students last week just in time for Monday’s Fall Open House, making it the latest in a series of changes to the Brandeis landscape.
The new building, designed by Charles Rose Architects, boasts a sleeker, more modern look than its predecessor. The structure features 20,000 square feet and two floors, doubling the space of the original building.
In addition to a welcome station, the building has a state-of-the-art 100-seat presentation room and a new financial services satellite office.
Construction on the new center, located in the same spot as the original admissions building, began in August 2008.
Construction cost a total of $14 million, which was paid through a donation by the Shapiro family.
During construction, interim admissions offices were located in the Bernstein-Marcus Administrative Building.
The admissions center officially opened its doors to students on Oct. 6. Most notably, it hosted activities for Monday’s Open House, which attracted hundreds of prospective students.
Students working in admissions were pleased by the new center.
“The new building is beautiful,” said Jamie Fleishman ’11, a former tour guide and current blogger for the admissions web site. “It definitely adds a lot to the visitor experience for the prospective students and parents who come.”
Fleishman’s favorite aspect of the new building is a student-made video in which Brandeis students discuss their academic programs and the various activities in which they are involved.
This video plays on a loop throughout screens in the admissions center, alternating with a slideshow presenting pictures of students on-campus.
“I make comments telling [new students] ‘Oh, I know we’re just moving in,’ but they still seem to like the building a lot, telling me how nice and comfortable it is. It’s definitely gotten a good reception,” Rachel Markman ’10, a senior interviewer with admissions said.“It’s really light and airy. The layout in general is really open. There’s a lot of places to sit,” Markman said. “In the interim building, we couldn’t see where students were sitting in the front office. With this building, you can always find people, which also makes them feel more comfortable about coming up and asking questions.”
The general student body has responded positively to the new building.
“It looks a lot better than the old building,” said Liz Crane ’11, a resident in the nearby Village residences, adding, “It’s more modern and less prison-like.”
Not everything at admissions has changed, however, as Fleishman is quick to point out.
“I really think it’s important to stress that [admissions] will still have its famous cookies available to prospective students,” he said.