Instead of traveling to Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio, Albion students will soon be able to find thrills in their own backyard.
In an effort to increase retention rates and secure the college’s fourth-place ranking in Princeton Review’s “more to do on campus” list, the construction of a rollercoaster will begin next fall in the space between Baldwin and Mitchell Towers and be finished by the end of the 2010-2011 school year.
“No one is going to want to transfer out of a school that has a rollercoaster!” exclaimed Dougy Yellar, director of admissions. “Plus, when prospective students see the ride, but aren’t allowed to ride it until they commit to Albion – well, let’s just say that enrollment isn’t going to be a problem any longer.”
The coaster itself will be designed by a new class – Physics 367: The Physics of Fun – that is being offered in the fall of 2010. Students, led by Dave Wheely, physics professor, will utilize the highly sophisticated computer program “Rollercoaster Tycoon” in their planning. Wheely has made billions in his own parks, and is a well respected tycoon in the field.
“This is really taking the Albion Advantage’s ‘experiential learning’ to new heights (pun intended!),” Wheely said. “My favorite way to design the coasters is so that, in the program, the guests turn green and hurl everywhere when they get off. I really hope that the students in this class will have the same mindset.”
In addition to the coaster itself, the Coffee House will be turned into a photo station – a place where students can come see the snapshots taken while on the ride. BritBucks will be accepted, according to Yellar, and these pictures will also be used on the admissions home page.
“Nothing says, ‘I’m having a great college experience’ like a young person screaming while speeding around a loop-de-loop,” Yellar said. “And these are just the types of pictures we need.”
The cost of this new addition and the necessary renovations is currently estimated at the equivalent of 15 FTE positions, according to M. Freezee aka Money Punisher, VP Finance.
One student was unhappy with the ride installation.
“I live in Mitchell towers, and people are going to be screaming way after quiet hours start,” said Nerdy McGee, Princeton, NJ, sophomore. “How am I supposed to get any studying done when there’s fun right outside my window?”