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The Comenian

The student news site of Moravian University

The Comenian

The student news site of Moravian University

The Comenian

Moravian Breaks Ground on HUB Renovations

From left to right: Brett Calabretta, vice president of Warfel Construction; Wendel Brown, principal of ESA; Nicole Loyd, chief operating officer and dean of students; George Wacker ‘03, former president of the alumni board; Angela Stein ’14; current president of the alumni board, Dr. Honnie Spencer ‘90, Lloyd Brubaker, Chairman Brian Oswald ‘82, President Grigsby ‘90. Photo courtesy of Liz Kameen.

On Feb. 2, members of the Moravian community broke ground on the new Haupert Union Building (HUB) in preparation for the upcoming year and a half of construction. The new four-story HUB will be completed in 2025. 

Brian Oswald, chairman of the Board of Trustees and Moravian alum from the class of ‘82, provided an opening address at the ceremony. During his speech, he mentioned how his father was one of the students who helped pay for the original student union building through tuition despite never being able to see its opening. 

“The Board of Trustees, our facilities management planning and construction office, and our architect, ESA, have spent years planning for this expansion,” Oswald said. “Now with Warfel Construction joining the project, we begin to transform our campus for our students and community.” 

An address by President Bryon Grigsby ‘90 followed Oswald’s speech. In his remarks, Grigsby recalled when Moravian students volunteered to pay an extra $75 every semester to crowdfund for a student union building in the 1950s, which translates to approximately $10,000 per semester considering inflation (tuition cost around $400 at that time). 

“The institution continues to grow and continues to get even stronger, and the HUB is the heart of our student center,” Grigsby said. “And really, it’s been left in disrepair as other buildings have grown up around it.”  

Grigsby described the new spaces in the HUB, emphasizing the importance of mental health within higher education. All of the mental and physical health services will be consolidated on the first floor for convenience. The second floor will serve as the heart of the HUB, the third floor as the Center for Student Life, and the fourth floor will serve as a conference and event center and a board room, with an executive terrace looking over the John Makuvek Field. 

“All of you Greyhounds have joined us in lighting the way for our students, their future, and the next generation by supporting this exciting endeavor,” he said. 

Photo courtesy of Liz Kameen.

In 2020, Moravian began the process of aligning the HUB with Moravian’s Lighting the Way strategic campaign, working with ESA construction to preserve the HUB’s footprint length-wise while still “reaching for the stars,” said Grigsby.  

The HUB is unique, as it sits centrally in the center of campus on a hill, but consultants have consistently found that the building is the least attractive and functional space on campus when completing space analysis.

“There’s not enough soft space for students to get together and do group work and do activities. And so this thing solves all of that for our students,” Grigsby said. 

Following the speech, Grigsby called a group of eight other community members, including notable construction personnel, donors, and alums, to assist in the ceremony. He joked that Brian Oswald, chairman, would’ve preferred a sledgehammer to begin the actual demolition himself.

Although there will be disruptions from construction, Grigsby said he understands that the campus community will be inconvenienced by the disruptions of construction but believes the final outcome – a better building for future students – will be worth it.

“​​I’m really excited about how we have been working on keeping up the same level of service for the students while construction is happening. I really think what’s going on in PPHAC is great,” Grigsby said.

“I had student open office hours here, and the amount of students moving through this area is larger than what was in the HUB previously.”

Spectators were then invited into the atrium of PPHAC, which was themed with construction materials, such as hats and shovels. Some of the refreshments, also for the theme, with dirt pudding accompanied by a shovel-spoon.

This reception provided an opportunity for students, staff, and faculty to discuss these upcoming changes with administrative members. Many attendees spoke with administrators.

Construction for the original College Union Building (CUB) commenced in September 1960. The opening, initially scheduled for the following year, was delayed by one year to integrate an auditorium, funded by local philanthropists Harrison and Myrtie Prosser. On May 6, 1962, the CUB was formally dedicated and inaugurated, marking it as the first student union on a college campus in Pennsylvania.

Subsequently, on May 8, 1969, the CUB underwent an official renaming ceremony, becoming the Haupert Union Building (HUB) in tribute to Dr. Raymond Haupert. Dr. Haupert had served as the president of Moravian College and Theological Seminary since 1944 and had recently announced his retirement.

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