Campus prepares for centennial celebration

On March 27, 1915, Governor Thomas Rye signed into law an act creating Tennessee Polytechnic Institute, according to the Tech website. Over the summer Facilities and Business Services started renovating Tech’s buildings and commons areas for the centennial celebration in 2015.

According to Glenn Binkley, assistant director of Facilities and Business Services the main quadrangle will be the primary focus of the renovations.

When Tennessee Polytechnic Institute was established the quadrangle was the main part of campus. Pre-World War II, Derryberry Hall was the Administration building and library, Henderson Hall was the engineering building, Farr Hall (T.J. Farr Building) was the science building, East Hall and West Hall were dormitories later named Kittrell (East) Hall and Bartoo (West) Hall, according to Harvey G. Neufeldt and W. Calvin Dickinson in “A Search for Identity: A History of Tennessee Technological University, 1915-1985.” Later, Kittrell Hall converted into the business building and Bartoo Hall became the biology building.

“A lot of folks who graduated in 1970 and before, they have fond memories of the quad basically being the hub of the campus,” Binkley said.

Facilities and Business Services started this summer by painting the exteriors of Derryberry Hall, South Hall, Matthews-Daniel Hall and they finished painting Kittrell Hall this fall, according to Binkley.

Now Facilities and Business Services is finding initial cost data for window replacements in Memorial Gym and is looking at many other problems in that building.

Additional work is planned for Jere Whitson and South Hall.

Currently, Henderson Hall is being restored to stay within the parameters of the National Historic building standards. Next to be updated are T.J. Farr Building and Bartoo Hall.

Meanwhile, work is being done between Derryberry and the RUC planting more shrubbery, trees and other plantings to beautify the campus, according to Binkley. Facilities and Business Services is also replacing landscaping that has died over the years near the Whitson-Hester School of Nursing. They will also spend nearly $5,500 on landscaping across campus this fall.

“We have a lot of opportunities,” Binkley said. “We just have to identify the funding before we can actually say ‘yes we are going to do this.'”