Syracuse University’s National Veterans Resource Center will be taking shape through the summer and open in early spring 2020. Crews were busy this morning installing one of the first glass panels on the building’s exterior. The center will provide a centralized place for veterans to gather for classes and a state-of-the-art information lab.
Founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families Mike Haynie says the center will also house military and veteran-serving programs, under one roof.
“But, more than that, the NVRC will also be positioned as a national center of excellence in higher education related to the social, economic wellness concerns of the nation’s veterans and their families.”
Haynie estimates that 5 percent of the student body at SU are either veterans or enrolled in the ROTC program. Charlie Poag says as an older veteran who just left the Marines, the transition to college was smooth.
“You know, I don’t get the old guy in the classroom jokes or anything like that, I’m really welcome. The professors reach out as far as my experience. They want to know about me and what my background is. And they really adjust a lot of the course load into what I’m trying to do here, what I’m trying to achieve. So, it’s phenomenal.”
Once complete, the 115,000 square foot all-inclusive facility will allow students and visitors to easily get around. There will also be a 3,700 foot event space. Haynie says the accessible building will have ramps throughout and the auditorium won’t have any steps.
“Each floor will have tactile maps for folks with sight impairments. So, they can not just get to the building, but also understand what is represented on each one of those floors.”
Haynie says by building the NVRC, Syracuse University is essentially planting a flag of commitment to serve veterans and the community long-term.