FSU’s recent acquisition of The Warren Conference Center and Inn is one of the most significant moments in its history
At 65 acres, the location includes multiple buildings and provides access to the town of Ashland’s reservoir.
The property, a breathtaking site located five miles from campus, offers FSU many opportunities to develop and expand.
We at The Gatepost believe it is critical FSU administrators think carefully about how they would like to utilize this land. It would be detrimental if this prime piece of real estate were not used and enjoyed by the FSU community – particularly students.
So, how can FSU students benefit from The Warren Center acquisition?
FSU has made substantial enhancements to its STEM departments with the recent addition of the new science center. The purchase of The Warren Center provides FSU with an opportunity to make significant improvements to its arts & humanities departments.
The center would be a perfect location for a performing arts center, as well as a site where FSU’s theater department can expand.
The Hilltop Players are often barred from using DPAC to practice their performances before tech week and opening night. With a performing arts center, The Hilltop Players would be provided with the critical practice space they need to perfect their performances.
Having their own space on The Warren Center property would also allow them to store more sets, props and costumes.
A performing arts center could also be used for large events, such as the sold-out Temple Grandin talk and the 30-year anniversary of the Challenger explosion earlier this semester.
The Warren Center would also be a pristine location for the Spring Commencement Ceremony, which would allow for more space for graduates’ loved ones to attend.
Considering the remarkable amount of land acquired with this purchase, building on this location would be one solution to FSU’s current land-locked status.
After the completion of West Hall, further construction on campus will be virtually impossible. Moving departments such as Athletics and Facilities to this center would free up space on campus for student use – something we at The Gatepost have advocated for many times.
This property could become a hub for student activity.
While it would be ideal for student spaces to be centrally located on campus, FSU could allocate a portion of the center to student clubs and organizations.
Aside from the aforementioned Hilltop Players, student groups such as the dance team and chorus could also benefit from the extra practice space.
Considering the center is a beautiful property, it would be an ideal location for art studios. Student artists could shut themselves away in a room overlooking the lake while creating their masterpieces, instead of the less-inspiring Maynard Hill.
The field on The Warren Center site could lend itself to major improvements to FSU athletics. A rugby pitch could be built, as well as a basic additional field for sports practices such as lacrosse and field hockey.
The Ashland reservoir is a perfect spot for the biology department to conduct experiments and take field trips. The Wildlife Club could also take advantage of the lake and its surrounding forest for club activities such as hikes.
There are many avenues FSU could pursue over the next few years with The Warren Center, and we at The Gatepost hope administrators will keep the students in mind as they plan for the future.