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New home for the poll in West Woods
The university is constructing a building on the West Woods parking lot that will be the new location of the Polling Institute.
The two existing locations of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute are 560 New Road and 513 Mount Carmel Avenue. These will be relocating to the new building.
The construction began last summer with an initial wall that was built along the road leading up to the West Woods parking lot. “Construction is scheduled to be finished this summer, hopefully July of this year,” said Joseph Rubertone, associate vice president for facilities administration.
There are currently 80 individual polling stations among the university’s two locations. The new facility will hold 160 polling stations. The cost of the construction project is about $2.3 million.
“The site of construction was chosen because there was an existing building that we were renovating. We decided a combined facility would be more convenient than two separate buildings,” Rubertone said.
Some students questioned the necessity of the project.
“I think that it is good that they are condensing the polling institute into one large building instead of two, but I feel that the space could be put to better use. For example, we could have more parking lots for freshmen or new dorms,” said Jeana Holliday, a sophomore psychology major.
The two buildings that currently house the polling institute will be converted into student housing or academic use, such as classrooms or offices, once the construction is completed.
“I don’t really know much about the Polling Institute, but I think it’s probably a good thing that they are consolidating into one building,” said John Merry, a freshman communications major.
“However, I would want to know why the polling institute needs a new building. It’s not like the atmosphere matters when you’re calling people and asking for their opinions,” Merry said. “There are much better things we could have done with that money in my mind.”
WQUN, Quinnipiac’s commercial radio station, is currently located in the top half of the house on New Road. This facility will also be relocated once construction is completed. The new location is going to be a facility on Whitney Avenue, near the Whitney Village dorms.
According to Rubertone, another advantage regarding the chosen location pertains to the university shuttle system. The parking lot has a shuttle that circulates students between the parking lots and campus.
“This is a benefit for student employees that work at the Polling Institute,” Rubertone said. Although the construction is taking place directly next to the West Woods parking lot, the number of student parking spaces will not be diminished.
“We actually have created 50 new spaces specifically for the Polling Institute. The 365 student spaces in the lot will remain unchanged,” Rubertone said.
Holliday wonders if the university’s growth may have adverse consequences.
“We seem to be taking over the town of Hamden and branching out beyond the boundaries of the campus. For example, with Whitney Village, the TD Banknorth Sports Center and now the Polling Institute. They are all separate from the actual campus and right in the town of Hamden,” Holliday said. “It’s making more traffic in Hamden from all of the busses and commuters. I’m sure the people of Hamden aren’t too thrilled about that either.”