MU clubs lose Brooks Hall

Brooks Hall Millersville University
(Photo courtesy of MU Archives & Special Collections)

Alexander Bershtein

Staff Writer

At the end of the semester Brooks will be closing and locked up until its future demolition. The building has been home to class courses, offices of professors, and numerous clubs. The latter are having the toughest time reallocating their organizations.

Markisha Peace of Fusion Dance Club gave plenty concerns on the subject.

“Well the only other place that we would have is the dance studio in the Student Memorial Center. Which that’s basically on a first come first serve basis,” she said. “And I know a lot others(clubs) like the club sports are given the first pick. We’re not a club sport, so basically we get whatever is left. The leftovers. So when it comes to Brooks we had Brooks once a week, but we weren’t even given the option to reserve Brooks once a week. One of the club sports already had it reserved as well as the Student Memorial Center.”

Peace also has a few reasons to support the demolition, “Brooks is definitely an older gym. So, sometimes when we had practices the floor was squeaking or creaking,” Peace said. “There would be a lot of different bugs in there because it was an older building. But, other than that I didn’t see any problems with it.”

She later acknowledged that she had heard about break-ins happening at Brooks. She believes it is due to the building’s common vacancy. Peace wished the vast amount of students had a say on the issue with Brooks. This is considering its common usage by many student organizations.

Alexa Strong, head of fundraising for the Millersville Fencing Guild and epee duelist, spoke on fond memories at her time at Brooks.

“Now , I understand that Brooks is an old building,” Strong said. “It was falling apart and I do not know why we had fencing at Brooks in the first place, but I mean I don’t see where else we will go.”

Yet, she felt there was nowhere else to go, “The SMC is pretty much taken up. And, Pucillo? Well that’s the basketball team.” She meant the timeframes in these answers. The current times of the meetings for the club are easier times for its members. The Wednesday practice times of seven to nine pm and Friday practice time of six to 10pm conflicted. This being with Pucillo’s basketball games and the closing of SMC’s workout facilities at 7pm sharp on Fridays.

Alexa Strong believed the next biggest issue was the situation with the gear. “For the Fencing Guild it is a matter of if we have our helmets, and our gear. And, we don’t know where we’re going to put it, and no one’s telling us.” The Fencing Guild and Millersville have concern over the loss of these materials.

Dr. Gordon Nesbitt, Director of Campus Recreation spoke of the problems in the building. “Most of Brooks issues stem from the energy efficiency of the building,” Dr. Nesbitt said. “The building’s age caused its upkeep in water and electricity to become too expensive for the university’s budget to deal with.”

Another issue was that the cameras in place had little to no effect. Dr. Nesbitt said, “There are cameras at Brooks, but they are not watched 24-7. If an incident happened usually it would be back on the tapes.” Which would have to be examined later.

This led to what Dr. Nesbitt considered the second biggest issue, vandalism.

Dr. Nesbitt says that the clubs of Martial Arts and Fencing were the organizations having the toughest times relocating while citing space requirements and gear storage. He also explained that he and the Vice President of Student Affairs, were trying to find places at Pucillo and the SMC for the clubs hosted in Brooks.

When asked about initial reaction about the closing, “There was some anger first. Any time there is change there is denial.” Dr. Nesbitt said the initial “panic mode” was tough, but deemed it natural considering the suddenness of the announcement.