Goodbye Blocks

Dean of Academic Affairs Brad Bergsbaken stacks legos for donation to Salazar Elementary School. Photo by Sasha Hill

Santa Fe University of Art and Design’s Fogelson Library has served as a space for both SFUAD students and Santa Fe community members. For the students, the library has acted as a center for finding books, holding club meetings and taking breaks in between study sessions. The library, which has hosted a variety of campus events, such as Open Mic Nights, Senior Book Parties and even a 24 Hour Writing Marathon, is filled with beanbag chairs, a pool table, a small stage and large building blocks that have been available for students to use recreationally. Now, with the campus closing in May 2018 and a drastic decrease in the number students on campus, SFUAD is looking for ways to give back to the community.

Faculty and staff at SFUAD have been focused on providing students with resources needed for a smooth end to their lives at the school. Brad Bergsbaken, previous chair of Business Arts Management and new dean of Academic Affairs, says he talked to Margaret Van Dyk, director of Library Services, who confirmed the current minimal use of the building blocks. “In this scenario, the Legos were largely unused in the library,” Bergsbaken says, “Especially with us having a group of very focused seniors on campus that are trying to finish the last bit of their academic career, get their portfolios ready…it’s not as if there is a large number of people in there who are building things on a regular basis.”

He decided to reach out to the elementary school down the street, Salazar Elementary School, to see if the blocks could go to use. “The principal at Salazar Elementary School [Jule’ Skoglund] taught Business Law for me when I was running the Business Arts Management program here on campus. I thought, why not give her a call?” Bergsbaken says.

Warren Couvillion (left) and Rufino Medrano stack legos for donation to Salazar Elementary School. Photo by Sasha Hill

On Friday, Sept. 8, Bergsbaken and Malcom Morgan, campus Life Coordinator, along with a number of SFUAD students, officially moved the blocks from the library to their new home. Bergsbaken says he wants to open up the space to make it more functional as a library, and that “the last thing we want is for this to become a ghost town.” SFUAD’s facilities, including the Greer Garson Theater, Garson Studios, the Contemporary Music Department’s audio equipment, are all still available, and Bergsbaken hopes they continue to be used in ways that can potentially involve Santa Fe as a whole.

“There are lots of opportunities on campus, but I think there are some opportunities for collaboration for students as well to get involved with the community. I think there are some opportunities for students to possibly run some workshops, if you were wanting to reach out and get elementary school students here to learn about writing, or learn about putting together an online newspaper, I think that would be something that’s great,” Bergsbaken says.

He encourages students and community members to reach out if any ideas come up regarding collaboration with the campus.