Frequently Asked Questions
Unlike a Hotel/Conference center, the Campus Center is a multi-use, student-oriented site. It serves as a student center, a central location or student services and a meeting and event venue. The building is a living-learning environment for students and they are deeply connected to our operation. Each day the building is opened, closed and staffed by a reliable and well trained staff of student building managers. Most hotels and conference centers directly oversee set-up, AV, food and event-related services. We depend upon different departments from across campus to provide services. As a result, last minute requests are difficult to accommodate. Therefore we ask that guests provide all event-related details a minimum of 5 business days prior to your event. Last minute changes, same-day changes or changes received in less than 5 business days cannot be guaranteed.
You should fill out a room reservation form at the Conferences and Events office (O’Reilly 105) at least two (2) weeks in advance if you would like to book an event. That way, we can fully accommodate all of your needs for the event day, schedule staff, and contact any other outside resources necessary. However, it is recommended that you book as early as possible. Some major campus events can be booked years in advance.
All event details should be submitted to an event planner no later than (5) business days prior to your event. Please make sure to confirm with an event planner that all details have been received. Last minute changes cannot be guaranteed.
Please provide a primary contact for your program. All inquiries, planning and details should be given through this person. This will prevent service, communication and billing errors.
The campus Center manages a list of preferred vendors. These vendors have a familiarity with our facilities and have maintained a positive relationship with our staff. If you are a student group, you may need to contact student involvement to coordinate vendor choices. For a complete listing, please see our attached “preferred vendors” document or contact our office.
When you schedule your event with us, you will be asked to contact Sodexo food services immediately to let them know your specific needs (also must be at least 2 weeks prior to event). All contact information will be provided once your event is scheduled.
The Campus Center is opened, closed and staffed each day by a reliable and well trained staff of student building managers. They will be able to assist with most event-related needs. During some events, the Student Building Manager may be assisted by a fulltime member of the Conference & Events Staff. The building manager on duty can be reached at the information desk (x5900).
The Sakowich Campus Center is open 24/7, but has operations available starting at 7:30 am until 11:30 pm every day. Please plan your event accordingly. If your event requires extensive pre-event set up, please work with an event planner to booked pre event set up time, or a place for items to be stored in advance.
If Merrimack College closes the campus due to weather conditions or for other emergency reasons, events scheduled for the Campus will be cancelled. Contracted events and organizations will be contacted by Staff on the morning of your event to notify you of the closing. The staff will work with contracted organizations to select an alternative date on a mutually agreeable date and time. Snow cancellations are announced on WBZ Radio 1030 AM, and WBZ-TV Channel 4. You can also call our Weather Emergency Hot Line at 978-837-5700 or go to the Merrimack College website. If an event sponsor has signed a contract for use of space and the event is cancelled, the date is changed or event space is removed from the reservation by the Event Sponsor for reasons other than weather or severe emergency then the Event Sponsor may be responsible for space rental charges. Event or space cancellations/date changes that occur within 30-90 days of an event, severely limit the College’s ability to resell the space or utilize the space for other groups.
Serving large groups or events with home prepared food can create food-safety, liability and health-related challenges. Event food services must be provided by Sodexo catering services.
Alcohol is not permitted at Merrimack College events where students or underage guest will be present or attending. If you intend to serve alcohol at your function, the caterer (Sodexo Catering Services) will be expected to provide a copy of all necessary permits as are normally required for such events by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. A single day license can take up to five days to secure. The college requires that the caterer (Sodexo) obtain a one day alcohol permit from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for each event where alcohol will be served, regardless of service style (“cash” or “open” bar). Note: College departments hosting events with alcohol are required to complete an Alcohol Registration Form and receive a sign-off from the Divisional Vice President. Depending on your attendance count, you might be asked to fill out a police detail form as well.
If your event has marketing materials/brochures that you need shipped to the Campus Center; please send them to the main office so that they arrive no earlier than 5 business days before your event. Please make sure that you alert Conference and Events before mailing any items to the office. They can be mailed to the address below. Please note: given that the college operates via a central mail room, it is extremely difficult for our office to mail or return items to you by U.S. Mail. This is not a service or option we can offer.
Name of the Event
Date of the Event
Conference & Events, 102 Austin Hall
315 Turnpike Street
North Andover, MA 01845
We do not offer printing/copying services in-house on the day of your event. All materials should be printed or copied prior to your arrival.
College policy requires that a Police Services officer (sometimes more than one) be assigned to all large events, high-profile events, all events serving alcohol and unique events that may require a security presence. The officer is assigned to begin working ½ hour prior to the start of your event, and is responsible for addressing emergencies, contacting emergency medical personnel and monitoring events to ensure that Massachusetts laws regarding alcohol consumption and distribution are enforced.
The Campus Center is opened, closed and staffed each day by a reliable and well trained staff of student building managers. The staff can provide support for basic AV needs and trouble-shooting (connecting a laptop, adjust projector focus, obtain an additional cord and/or minor trouble-shooting). The staff will not be assigned to your room to run a presentation, film or serve as an A/V technician. If you require a high level or support for your event, please connect with the Conference & Events Staff during the planning phase of you program. A professional A/V technician can be hired (from campus IT services) to manage the A/V presentation, taping or other A/V needs related to your program. There is a charge for A/V technicians.
You are welcome to bring your own equipment, but we have a wide range of media equipment at your availability such as computer hook-ups, speakers for large and small audiences, projectors both portable and built-in, projector screens, and more. Just let us know what you need and we will let you know if we can reserve it for your event day. Laptops are not provided but may be reserved through the I.T. department (ext. 3500).
Wireless internet services are available throughout many public spaces, and have been recently added the Sakowich Campus Center to this list.
Parking & Transportation
Our Campus Center lot number 6 is designated for general guest parking all hours of the day. If you have buses waiting, they are to park in lot number 1. Again, we ask that you include that information when you schedule your event, and we will call police services for you and let them know.
The College can create roadway signage for your event. The signage will state the name of your event and directional arrows to the Sakowich Campus Center lot #6, unless another lot is specifically assigned for your event. The sign can guide guests to specific parking lots, but during business days we cannot guarantee parking in any particular parking lot. Signs are available at a cost of $60 for each event. Contact your event planner if you have questions about roadway signage.
Event-related signage is the responsibility of the guest. The Campus Center can provide easels and sign holders if you wish to place event-related signage outside of the event room or at your registration table.
For parking there are (4) handicap spaces in the campus center lot, (2) outside Hamel Health center, and (3) in the Rogers Lot. Each of our event buildings also has full access with elevators and/or ramps.
Posting, stapling or nailing fliers or materials to the walls or surfaces in the Campus Center is not permitted. This includes public/open spaces as well as dining rooms, conference rooms and meeting rooms. These types of activities cause damage to paint and wall surfaces. Groups may use blue painters tape if they wish to hang lightweight items; this is the only acceptable hanging material. The Campus Center can provide easels, portable panels or other materials to assist with temporary posting needs or presentations. Departments, student organizations and guests may be responsible for damage related inappropriate postings.
We have two ATMs on campus in the Campus Center and Volpe Athletic Center along with banks close by including Citizen’s Bank (one on 114 next to Denny’s Restaurant and one in Stop and Shop), Bank of America (ATM outside of Rite Aid, bank on N. Main St. in Andover Town Center), and TD Bank (rt.114)
For hotels or lodging nearby is the Holiday Inn Express (rt. 114 just before 495-N on-ramp in Lawrence), Comfort Suits (4 Riverside Dr., Andover), Courtyard Boston Andover (10 Campanelli Drive, Andover, MA), Staybridge Suites (4 Tech Drive, Andover, MA), and La Quinta Inn & Suites (131 River Rd., Andover, MA)
Other places of interest might include:
Stores/Pharmacies on Turnpike Street:
CVS (intersection rt. 114 & rt. 133)
Rite Aid (rt. 114)
Stop & Shop (rt. 114)
Walgreen’s (rt. 114)
Staples (rt. 114)
Market Basket (rt. 114 just over Lawrence town line-North Andover Plaza)
Kohls (North Andover Plaza, rt. 114 Lawrence)
TJ Maxx (North Andover Plaza, rt. 114 Lawrence)
Burger King (intersection rt. 114 & rt. 133)
Captain’s Pizza (rt.114)
Dunkin Donuts (rt.114)
Harrison’s Roast Beef (rt.125 N. Andover past Bertucci’s)
Boston Market (rt. 114 intersection of Waverly Rd. and Turnpike St. by Walgreen’s)
Lee Chen (rt. 114 just before 495-N on-ramp in Lawrence)
Getty (next to Stop & Shop)
Mobile (next to Market Basket on rt. 114 just before 495-N on-ramp)
Wave (across from Mobile, rt. 114 just before 495-S on-ramp)
Sunoco (125 next to Richdale’s)
After you have received a quote for your event, you will receive an event contract for signature. Organizations are responsible for payment according to the terms of the contract. In some cases, depending upon the date, scope and nature of the event, organizations may be asked to provide a deposit or full payment in advance. You should refrain from advertising, registering guests or publicizing your event until you have a signed contract. The final invoice for your program/event will reflect the spaces, resources and services actually utilized. The addition or subtraction of space/equipment during the planning phase of your event will alter the final cost of your event.