Almost a year ago, Joseph Construction Company had just finished the demolition on the inside of Anderson Hall. Now, they are merely a few months away from completing the renovation of the iconic Maryville College building.
President Tom Bogart said that the project is on track to be finished on time. As originally projected, Anderson Hall renovation will be complete on Dec. 15, 2014. The official opening for classes will be the beginning of the 2015 spring semester.
The major construction work is nearly finished.
“The seniors are going to get lost because the building is now organized in a way that is very different,” Bogart said. “On each floor there are faculty offices and classrooms. There are also restrooms on each floor. The stairs go to each of the floors, the elevator goes to every floor. The first floor will be where the faculty in the education division are. Second floor is humanities. Third floor is languages and literature.”
Other new additions to Anderson include a student lounge on the second floor and an outdoor classroom. The outdoor classroom will be used primarily for classes, but also for small concerts, lectures and poetry readings, similar to the current outdoor classroom.
Despite the differences in layout and additions, Bogart said that the spacing of the building is similar to what it was before. The total number of classrooms is different, but now there is a “large” classroom that will seat 65 on the first floor. Until this renovation, the only large classroom available was Lawson.
“It’s going to look like a brand new building in there, but the foundation is the same foundation. A lot of the structure of the building is the same structure. We’ve reinforced it, added some strength, but the fundamental structure is still the same. What we did is essentially build a whole new building inside the existing structure in what ultimately has been a pretty short amount of time,” Bogart said.
Bogart called the remaining work as “finish work.” Now that the air conditioning has been turned on for the third floor, the ceilings can be finished, as well as all the painting and floor installation projects that require a certain amount of climate control. When the third floor is completed, finishing work will move down to the other floors. Installation of the elevator will be one of the final projects happening later this fall.
The elevator in Anderson is one part of the project that Bogart is especially excited about.
“One of the features of Maryville College that I’m proudest about is our long-standing and ongoing commitment to access. A lot of times that gets celebrated in terms of racial integration, in terms of educating women very early and so forth, but what to me is really exciting is having an elevator means that the building is now physically accessible in a way that it wasn’t before. We have students who have attended Maryville College and have never been upstairs in Anderson Hall and that’s not being truly accessible.”
Although Anderson will be re-opened next semester, there will be a re-dedication ceremony in May in conjunction with the Spring 2015 Board meeting, which will fall the same week as commencement.
In closing, Bogart said that he is as excited as the students for Anderson to be complete.
“One of the neat things about Maryville College is that the campus is really recognizable from what it was a hundred years ago. To be able to get in and renew the structure [of Anderson Hall] and the idea that 60, 80, 100 years from now people will be able to look and say oh there’s Pearson’s, there’s Thaw, there’s Fayerweather, there’s Anderson is really exciting. And the idea that there’s that physical link between the past and the present that every student since 1870 at Maryville College has spent a considerable amount of time in Anderson Hall, and we are in the closing stages of ensuring that will be true for the rest of my lifetime. It’s really exciting to be a part of that.”