Renovations to West Hall have caused class disruptions, but VSU administration worked with the contractors to minimize distractions to students and professors, according to officials.
Students likely noticed a rather jarring change to West Hall’s appearance upon arriving back at VSU this August.
Large wooden planks have blocked the bottom floor of the southern wing of the academic hall from pedestrians. Construction continues intermittently throughout the day and week.
According to Traycee Martin, vice president for finance and administration at VSU, the renovation is the first significant change since 1986.
“West Hall is a project that has been proposed going back several years and administrations,” she said. “The project was also necessitated by the Odum Library renovation for the Student Success Center, as well as the establishment of an office for the new College of Humanities and Social Sciences in Nevins Hall.”
Martin said having Academic Affairs, Student Success, and the President’s office in a single location will greatly increase efficiency.
“It has been at least 25 years since the provost has been able to have all provost’s office staff in the same office – or even the same building,” she said.
This project comes with a hefty price tag of $995,000.
A general blueprint has been submitted, but nothing is confirmed, and many finishes and furniture selections have not been accounted for, according to Martin.
Currently, the south entrance to West Hall is closed, but the stairwell is still available to people needing to reach the second floor.
Martin said demolition started over the summer to minimize the disturbance to classes. Both Plant Operations and the Provost’s office received a few complaints about noise.
“The contractor agreed to move louder projects to early mornings and later evenings when the building typically has fewer people,” she added.
Martin said the administration is “committed to working with the contractor to limit any negative impact.”
Some students who attend classes in West Hall have noted the disruptions.
“We can hear them in my English classroom,” Katherine Niles, a freshman French major, said. “It made my teacher have to stop a few times and apologize.”
Jacob Paige, a freshman engineering student, also noticed disruptions.
“It has been very distracting during class, and has taken away from the overall flow of lectures and workshops,” he said.
The construction project is expected continue into the spring semester, with a goal of completion by spring break.
Written by Zachariah Rosenbaum, Staff Writer. Photo by Bryce Ethridge, News Editor.
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