Thaw Hall renovations keep the 94-year-old building safe for students

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Workers from Joseph Construction forming the new steps to Thaw Hall. Photo by David Peters.

Fencing is still up, and a crew is still working on Thaw Hall. Maryville College announced renovations over the summer break, but the work fell behind and ran on into the 2016 fall semester. Not many students knew the specifics behind the renovations.

“The major focus of the renovation was to stop water from getting in the basement,” said Jeff Ingle, Vice President for Finance and Administration. “So you really won’t see a lot of the work that has been done once it’s completed.”

The $1.1-million-dollar project was made possible by an anonymous private donation. The Project called for digging a large trench around the entirety of the structure and waterproofing the concrete from bottom of the foundation up. One important aspect was to direct the rain water away from the building into catch basins located under the parking lot and under the lawn behind the building.

Waterproofing the concrete and re-directing rain water was only part of the efforts to reduce moisture in the building. Windows in the basement were replaced, the HVAC system was updated along with the downspouts and gutters.

“The project has also allowed us to make some renovations on the entrance of the Academic Support Center which is located in the basement,” Ingle said. “We adjusted how we utilize the space down there (In the basement) so that we could open up the handicap bathroom for use even when the Academic Support Center was closed.”

Construction also included two new ramps as well as two sets of stairs on the exterior of the building. Though construction is still underway with the Thaw Hall renovation project, it is expected to be completed soon.

The project that started in June was meant to have been done before the beginning of the fall semester in August but is now on course to be done by Oct. 1. According to Ingle some of the windows came in the wrong size and in turn extended the time needed to complete the project.

Information provided by the very helpful staff in the archives department shows that this is the fourth renovation project on Thaw Hall. Renovations have happened in ’86, ’02, ’07 and now in ’16. The 94-year-old building has been lovingly cared for over the years, and this current project will make sure that it stays standing for as long as we need it.

“The donor wanted to honor the memory of the Thaw family with renovations to this building.” Ingle said. The building was originally donated by the Thaw family in honor of the late William K. Thaw (1818-1889) and was originally intended to house the campus cafeteria.

McCarty Holsaple McCarty, Inc. (MHM) and Joseph Construction are the two companies working on the Thaw Hall project to alleviate the moisture problem. Both MHM and Joseph Construction have worked on building renovations for our school in the past.

MHM boasts pictures of the recent renovations to Fayerweather Hall on their website. Joseph Construction was responsible for the demolition and construction process during the brand new renovations to Anderson Hall.

The campus has many historic buildings and through the efforts of staff and donations provided by generous individuals, these buildings are well maintained and updated periodically.

Maryville administration plans to keep the community updates as the renovations continue into the semester.

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