Anderson renovation, architectural drawings present controversy on campus

(Photo by Jenny Bivens)
The new interior of Anderson Hall is expected to include 13 classrooms and 26 offices, among other renovations.

A new, modern interior is in Anderson Hall’s future as part of a “total renovation” for the historical building, a project that could begin during the summer of 2013. “The building will be taken back to the supporting structure,” said Holly Jackson-Sullivan, vice president of advancement and community relations at Maryville College. “Interior walls are going to be removed, as well as existing flooring and all ceilings.”

None of Anderson’s current interior will remain after the completed renovation. “An elevator, sprinkler system and security system will be installed,” Jackson-Sullivan said. “Everything from steam piping to doorknobs will be replaced.” The new interior of Anderson Hall is expected to include 13 classrooms, 26 offices and other spaces for students and faculty, though plans may change during the construction process to accommodate academic needs. Changes will also be made to the outside of Anderson Hall and the area surrounding the building.

Plans include the addition of an outdoor classroom/amphitheater on the side of Anderson Hall that faces Sutton Science Center and the rebuilding of a staircase on the east side of the building. In October, MC released these plans and architectural renderings for the project online. The drawings were completed by Johnson Architecture, Inc., the company responsible for all architectural design work in the Anderson Hall project. Senior writing/communication major Jacob Bajer, who spends much of his class time in Anderson Hall, said the plans look “solid.” “I think they are bringing a new look to Anderson,” Bajer said, “but [they are] also keeping the classic authenticity that the old building brings to the campus” Justin Kirkland, an alumnus from the class of 2012, likes the plans to modernize Anderson Hall. “I think one of the hardest parts of graduating was leaving Anderson behind,” Kirkland said. “Knowing that it’s going to be renovated, and in such a forward-thinking way, lets me know that it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.”

However, not all students and alumni agree with the decision to renovate Anderson Hall. Junior Samantha Wilson doesn’t like the idea of a modern interior in the historic building. “I think they should leave the richest part of Maryville College’s history alone,” Wilson said. “It looks too modern and doesn’t fit with our small-town campus.”

Junior design major John-Cole Kirksey said, “Do I think that Anderson needs to be renovated? Yes. Do I think it could be renovated and look like it does now? Yes.” Wilson agreed. “I think that Anderson’s renovations should respect the history and the importance of the building to the students, faculty and alumni of Maryville College,” she said. The project that will bring this new look to Anderson Hall’s interior will cost an estimated $6.7 million, of which $4.1 million has been raised. Jackson-Sullivan said that many donate in honor of loved ones, professors, staff or graduation years.

“At this point naming opportunities start at $10,000 and go up. Gifts can be paid over three calendar years,” Jackson-Sullivan said. The Alumni Anderson Hall Class Challenge has a goal of raising $1 million dollars, of which they have roughly $600,000. Any donation to the renovation project would help close this gap. “No amount is too small – every gift matters,” Jackson-Sullivan said. “Anderson Hall deserves all of our support.”

Anyone interested in donating can find more information online at pital-projects/anderson-hall/ or call the advancement office at (865) 981- 8200.

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