After about a month of construction, the Bonta Admission Center has begun to show signs of progress. Concern over the limited space available to house a growing admission staff meant that Steve Klein, then-vice president for enrollment, was tasked with solving the issue of an inadequate work space.
The solution was to extend the space facing Seaton Hall out, update offices and restrooms and move the building’s main entrance. The change will also make the center more accessible.
“The staff has grown to the point where we don’t all fit in the conference room that was originally built to go with the building.” said Mandy Dubiel, director of admission. “We have no space to be able to do small information sessions, so if we bring in a small group of students, we have to try to find a classroom to use.”
As a result, Klein reached out to Bob Anderson, the vice president for alumni relations and advancement, and Erik Braun, lead director of advancement and assistant athletic director. Together, they gathered funding from alumni gifts for the remodeling and expansion of the admission center.
Chuck and Julie Frayer (‘77) provided majority funding for the project as a gift to Albion in 2016. Julie is the daughter of Frank Bonta (‘49), former director of admission, whom the admission center is named after.
After allocating the proper funds to renovate the admission center, Jim Horman, the architect behind the project, met with Steve Klein and the admission staff.
“The first thing [Horman] did was sit down with us to talk about how the space needed to function and how we could create that functionality with the budget that we had,” said Dubiel, on whether the admission staff had any input in the remodeling process.
The biggest change will be an 800 square-foot addition to the south-facing side of the building that will serve as the much-needed conference room for staff. Along with the extension, there are plans to move the main entrance to the parking lot. The current main entrance door is inset and often missed by visiting prospective students and their families.
The main entrance move is meant for visitor convenience. The current entrance will be walled off, and the entrance with the concrete porch will be converted into a ramp for wheelchair accessibility.
There will also be minor alterations to the restrooms in order to comply with accessibility standards and two offices will be remodeled into interview rooms that intend to offer a more welcoming environment for prospective students.
Construction on the admissions building should finish in this June.