While the construction on Newing College continues as projected, pieces of the old dining hall have been turned into keepsakes by the Binghamton University Alumni Association.

According to Steve Seepersaud, communications specialist for the Alumni Association, the mailboxes from the dining hall were salvaged and converted into banks to keep change in.

The mailbox project idea came about this past year. According to Seepersaud, “the sale of these banks is one way that the spirit of the reunion can live on.”

The alumni of Newing College had a reunion at the 2008 homecoming as a signature event to celebrate the community’s 40th anniversary. The reunion had a high attendance rate, and the Office of Alumni Relations wanted to keep alumni interested in attending future events and staying connected with the school. The Alumni Association has provided marketing support for these banks through various means, including alumni e-newsletters and the alumni Facebook page.

“We know that our alumni show a strong affinity to the residential communities where they lived on campus,” Seepersaud said. “The banks are high-quality keepsakes that will serve as enduring reminders of time spent in Newing, regardless of where our alumni call home today.” He said that, because it is the holiday season, they are also emphasizing the gift-giving value of the banks.

The handcrafted oak banks can be purchased online at http://www.uncommongoods.com, a website founded by BU alumnus David Bolotsky of the class of ‘85.

The banks can also be purchased in person at the Alumni Relations office, located in the Couper Administration Building room 217. The Newing banks cost $55 each, and a small portion of the profit will benefit the Alumni Association.

The banks are also a reminder of the new buildings being constructed on campus.

According to Karen Fennie, communications specialist of Physical Facilities, the construction remains on schedule and the buildings currently under construction, Delaware, Endicott, Broome and the Chenango Champlain Collegiate Center, are still scheduled to open for the fall 2011 semester.

Work on the buildings during the winter will be mostly interior, as exterior work on all of the buildings, with the exception of some window installation, has been completed, Fennie said.

Currently, work being done in the buildings includes a variety of installations, such as plumbing, electrical and mechanical systems. In some areas, metal studs and frames for rooms are being put up and in other areas drywall construction is already underway.

According to Fennie, the building that has seen the most progress is Delaware, which has flooring, ceiling, lighting and bathroom fixtures in place.

“Endicott, Broome and the Collegiate Center are not as advanced due to the order in which the buildings went up,” Fennie said. However, she added that she is confident they will also be completed in time for the fall semester and indicated that a slideshow is available on the University’s website with pictures of the construction taken earlier in November.

In addition to the construction in Newing, there is also work being done in the new Harpur’s Ferry garage. According to Fennie, site work is underway and foundation work will begin during summer 2011. The timing of the relocation of the Harpur’s Ferry space will coincide with the East Campus Housing and Dickinson Community phase of construction beginning next summer.

“We had to provide new space for Harpur’s Ferry to make space for the Dickinson buildings,” Fennie explained.