In November 2011, steam pipes in the attic of Ventress Hall burst, causing considerable water damage to the building’s floors, ceilings, walls and furnishings and the relocation of the dean’s office to temporary quarters in Lester Hall. The extensive refurbishment includes relocation of the HVAC system to the basement, replacement or repair of floors, ceilings, walls, installation of a new elevator, and modifications to increase the number of offices on the second floor. The current timeline for project completion is fall 2012. Media and Documentary Projects is filming the renovation process.
Shoemaker Hall Teaching Labs
The Department of Biology is renovating teaching labs for anatomy and physiology classes and introductory laboratories for biology majors and pre-med students.
“The labs will have new flooring, lab benches, lighting, storage units and air-handling systems,” said Paul Lago, chair and professor of biology. “The latter is really important for classes performing dissections. The odors can be overwhelming. Computers are becoming more and more important in labs, and these rooms will be as up-to-date as we can make them.
“We hope to provide a better educational experience for our students.”
The anatomy and physiology lab will feature computers equipped with virtual dissection software and a projector. A floor-to-ceiling makeover for majors/pre-med introductory labs will provide workstations with computers for each lab group, projectors with electronic screens and snorkel exhaust systems.
Department of Art Foundry
A new foundry for the Department of Art in Meek Hall opened during the 2011-12 academic year. Equipped with a McEnglevan melt furnace with a 195-pound bronze capacity, a burnout kiln and an overhead hoist for the casting of metals, the foundry includes both work and storage space.
“The foundry is a fantastic addition because it helps with the future growth of the art department,” said Ginny Chavis, interim chair and associate professor of art. “We are able to recruit a wider variety of sculpture students who can create larger work as well as provide a safe environment for existing students.”
After the School of Law moved to the Robert C. Khayat Law Center, remodeling work began in Lamar Hall to create much-needed space for the College. Improvements include the addition of 22 classrooms, handicap-accessible bathrooms, new elevators, a grand staircase and food service.
The Department of Sociology and Anthropology will occupy the top floor along with the Center for Population Studies and McLean Institute.
“The newly renovated Lamar Hall will benefit the department in countless ways,” said Kirsten Dellinger, chair of sociology and anthropology. “We are moving from a building with virtually no classroom space, so access to larger classrooms and seminar rooms in Lamar will be a big plus. The location of our offices on a single floor will provide a greater sense of unity and ease of communication among faculty and help build our research and teaching collaborations.”
Lamar Hall also will house the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation, Center for Writing and Rhetoric and expanded Writing Center.
“The Center for Writing and Rhetoric is very excited about moving to Lamar. Doing so will physically connect writing classrooms, the writing center and the writing teachers,” said Bob Cummings, director of the center. “Our physical space will be aligned to support student learning in the classroom, through tutoring and through student-teacher conferencing. The Lamar location reflects the university’s commitment to improving student writing.”