South Hall gets a facelift

Taking a walk through the Main Quad this semester, students and faculty may notice visible progress on the renovations to South Hall. An overhaul on the building has displaced several faculty and students. The project is expected to continue until the fall semester.

As the fourth part of a multi-phase renovation project on many of the older buildings on campus, South Hall is scheduled to receive a sprinkler system, new electrical work and, most noticeably, all new windows in the building.

“The windows in the building were original and had never been replaced,” said DeLaye Miller, Facilities Project Manager.

The exterior of the building is slated to be fully cleaned and painted to refresh the look of the building while preserving the classic historical characteristics and architecture of the structure.

The building’s interior is also being refurbished and revamped to meet the standard set with the new classroom design seen in recently remodeled buildings Henderson Hall and TJ Farr.

Manual labor began on South Hall on Nov. 25 and is contracted to a 300-day work schedule. This would place building renovations being substantially completed near the end of Sept. 2014.      

Some students said they feel the construction to the building gives a negative ascetic look to campus as a whole. “It looks we’re getting ready for a hurricane,” said international business junior Bianca Drew. Drew said she does not feel the wooden boards over all the window frames in the building enhance campus’ look or feel.

South Hall was originally constructed in 1931 as the home economics building. The building has seen many changes and has served multiple purposes in the 83 years it has been on campus, including housing the student union from 1954 to 1972 before the building became the library annex. The building was renovated once again in 1993 to house the College of Agriculture and Human Ecology and the foreign language department.

Exactly 20 after the most recent renovation, work began to prep the building for remodeling.  At the beginning of the summer of 2013, all belongings and actions of the occupants of South Hall were packed up and moved to Foundation Hall, formerly Prescott Central Middle School.

Foundation Hall provides a temporary space for occupants of buildings being remodeled on campus. The building allows workers and students’ departments to have a stable office until their respective buildings are completed.

A large number of offices and classrooms normally located in South Hall are among the inhabitants that have been temporarily moved to Foundation Hall.  These include the offices of foreign language, agriculture and human ecology.

“I’m appreciative that the University is renovating and has somewhere to put us,” said Mark Groundland, associate professor of Spanish and interim chair of the department of foreign languages, “but we look forward to moving back into South Hall.”

One of the main complaints students seem to have regarding the remodel process is that Foundation Hall is a longer walk away than most other buildings on campus.

“It kind of sucks,” said Bianca Drew, “the walk is longer from Johnson with just ten minutes in between.”

Other students are more positive on the relocation of their classes in Foundation Hall.

“I don’t like being so far out,” said Spanish and history senior, Beth Pinzur. “But it is nice to be able to just run upstairs to practice my Spanish.”