Bates doesn’t have a student center, which is a heated issue amongst many students. There have been mumblings of plans to build one, but nothing is set in stone yet, and it could be some time before construction even begins. There is a newly built dining hall, which houses a convenient store/diner, but the mailroom and the bookstore remain in Chase Hall, where the old dining hall was located. The Den is also still functioning at Chase Hall, but hours have been shortened due to the opening of Milt’s Place in New Commons. There is discontent among the upperclassmen for this, and students have petitioned to have The Den open later on weekends—however, no action has been made to change the current hours of operation. The indoor track has been resurfaced with Mondo, the same surface used in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Some of the weight-lifting machines are rusty and out-of-date, but new free-weight stations and cardio machines have been installed. There are nowhere near enough cardio machines, and people often go to the gym at odd hours to avoid crowds.
The quality of facilities at Bates depends largely on the age of the building. Some of the classrooms have almost space-age technology, with remote controls for lights, projection screens, and even window shades. These classrooms are equipped with the technology to hook up a laptop and project images from it onto a screen. Other classrooms are not so fortunate and look like they haven’t been renovated since they were built decades ago. Some rooms are not big enough for the classes that meet in them—it’s not unheard of for students to have to sit on the floor if they arrive after all the seats have been taken. To be fair, the school is making efforts to improve matters—some of the desks in Pettigrew have been replaced, and there is some new equipment in the Cardio Room in Merrill Gymnasium. In a few years, if the new student center is built and most of the other facilities have been brought up-to-date, Bates will have a really impressive campus. For the time being, however, facilities here are still adequate and sometimes above average, but nothing more.