COLUMBUS, Ga – Columbus State University officials and honored guests donned hard hats and goggles before grabbing sledgehammers Tuesday to ceremonially start the $3.95 million renovation of Howard Hall, CSU’s oldest classroom building.
The target of the sledgehammers was a to-be-destroyed wall carrying a sign that read “Howard Hall, built in 1962.” Columbus State University President Tim Mescon, Rep. Debbie Buckner (D-137), Rep. John Pezold (R-133), Sen. Josh McKoon (R-29), and faculty representative Dr. Pat McHenry, associate Dean for the College of Letters and Sciences, each took turns taking chunks out of the old wall in a unique “wall-breaking” ceremony.
Before the demolition began, President Mescon and the legislators reflected on their own experiences in Howard Hall. Buckner pointed out the locations of three separate classrooms where she had once spent time as a student of then-Columbus College.
Money for the renovation of Howard Hall was appropriated last year thanks to the work of Columbus-area legislators and the state Board of Regents. McHenry led a faculty committee that made renovation recommendations to the architects planning Howard’s renovation.
“Our faculty are deeply committed to delivering best-of-class education,” Mescon said.. “It takes terrific faculty, engaging pedagogy and curriculum, but it also takes state-of-the-art, contemporary facilities.”
Howard Hall will be transformed into a true contemporary facility by fall 2015. The new building will feature:
New technology in each classroom.
- An elevator.
- A common area at the building’s entrance with lot of space for seating, gathering, studying, and charging electronics.
- New, quieter, more efficient heating and cooling systems.
- Additional bathrooms on the second floor.
- Higher ceilings and better lighting in all classrooms.
- New furniture.
- New doorways and treatments on the second floor to prevent students from standing in the rain before classes start.
- Significant aesthetic improvements inside and outside the building
When Howard Hall re-opens, the university will replicate the entire process with a $4.95 renovation of Arnold Hall. More changes are coming also. A new lab annex onto LeNior Hall, a new Learning Commons on the library, and the prospect of 500 new freshman beds on main campus led Mescon to declare this ceremony was “the beginning of a transformation of this great campus.”