In recent years, it seems that Endicott’s campus is constantly undergoing renovations, repairs, and remodeling. As of now, the plans for future renovations include everything from new dorm buildings and dining halls to the destruction of old, less-useful areas that are proving difficult to support Endicott’s growing acceptance rate, such as the Village.
However, just like everything else in the world, these plans were interrupted by spring 2020’s introduction of COVID-19. Future construction projects had to be put on hold, and even the Village, instead of being destroyed, was instead turned into an on-campus quarantine zone. Despite these obstacles, one on-going construction project was able to survive the pandemic, and in the spring semester of 2021 Endicott’s students were introduced to the brand-new WAX II.
The original WAX rested in the center of campus, and served mostly as an academic building that housed everything from a TV Studio to early education classes. When it was torn down in 2019, it was replaced by a new WAX building, which was built nearby. This new building boasted a more organized and professional look, with each area easily compartmentalized within 3 floors of symmetrical maze-like hallways. While the new WAX was being used for its many academic classrooms, the WAX II began construction where 2018’s WAX used to be - in the middle of campus.
Now, as a finished product, the WAX II stands out not only as its own building, but also as an extension of the new WAX - the two are even connected by a fancy bridge. But with the new WAX having taken over most of the academic purposes needed for that area of campus, what does the WAX II have to offer that makes it more unique?
For starters, the WAX II immediately gives Endicott something that the campus has lacked for a very long time - a proper, large, acoustic-friendly theater. This theater, easily the most impressive on campus, is the dominating feature of the WAX II. So dominating, that one can’t walk the new building’s long, freshly-painted walls without feeling the looming presence of the massive room around every corner - corners that are in themselves influenced by the theater’s architecture. Unfortunately, due to the modern issues we know all too well, this theater has yet to be used to its full potential. That being said, it does serve as a lecture hall for some lucky classes - with the theater’s size serving as a helpful supporter of indoor social distancing.
In fact, much of the new building’s interior design seems to have been influenced by the introduction of COVID-19. Common areas in the main hall mostly consist of large, single-person couches, which are curved-in to encourage privacy and separation. While these may feel a bit more lonely when compared to the options in other buildings, they provide a comfortable, relatively safe, and focused study environment.
Another element that makes the WAX II unique - something that it inherits from its ancestor - is the built-in food market. Called “EAT”, the market offers not only freshly prepared food, but also lightly mimics the idea of an actual food market, offering students a selection of snacks, frozen meals, and other grab-and-go options. This is convenient for students who may need to grab a quick snack or something to cook if they’re fortunate enough to have a kitchen in their dorm or suite. However, while EAT does accept Endicott’s on-campus Flex Dollars, it does not as of right now take meal swipes or offer the same to-go options that Gully’s, which was (unfortunately for many who relied on it for express meals) closed for the Spring 2021 semester.
While the Wax II has yet to become the booming, theatrical social powerhouse it has the potential to be, the new level of beauty it gives to the campus’ heart and the new areas it offers for students to explore have injected some much-needed morale into the campus as a whole.