Renovation of Anderson Hall will soon be underway

Renovation of Anderson Hall will soon be underway

May 27, 2013
Contact: Karen Eldridge, Director of Communications

The long-awaited renovation for Maryville College’s 143-year-old Anderson Hall is about to commence.

Completed in 1870 and named for the College’s founder, the Rev. Isaac Anderson, Anderson Hall is the oldest building on the campus of the liberal arts school. It has seen continuous use since its opening but has never seen an extensive, top-to-bottom refurbishment.

“Electricity and computer cables were strung as technology advanced. Walls were repaired and light fixtures hung where and when it had to be done, but we desire – and need – a true renovation for our oldest and most iconic building on our campus,” said Maryville College President Dr. William T. “Tom” Bogart.

In 2006, Maryville College announced that it would renovate the beloved and historic building for 21st-century teaching and learning. Fundraising began in 2007, bringing in enough revenue to complete Phase I in 2008. Phase I focused solely on the exterior of the building: brick and mortar restoration, roof replacement, tower repairs, new gutters and downspouts.

But inside, the building continued to show its age.

“It’s tired at best; dilapidated at worst,” Bogart said. “There are places with peeling paint, broken or missing woodwork and the evidence of water damage. The classrooms and offices are not efficiently designed – either individually or in relation to each other to create a strong academic learning environment.”

The fundraising goal for the interior is $6.8 million. To date, the College has raised almost $5 million in gifts and pledges and has some estate money available, if needed. Money from hundreds of alumni has been received since February 2012, when a $1 million Alumni Class Challenge was announced.

Bogart said the building generates “an immediate emotional reaction” from people associated with the College, and that reaction has helped the fundraising efforts.

“People have given because of the great experience they had at Maryville College, in honor of a favorite professor and in honor of classmates, relatives and friends,” he said. “One of the favorite options was the ‘Sweetheart Windows’ for the many happy couples who met here.”

(For a gift of $10,000, married couples who met at MC can name a sweetheart window in Anderson Hall. A plaque featuring an image of intertwined hearts along with the couples’ names and wedding date will be mounted near the window.)

Demolition of interior will start soon

Last month, the College’s Board of Directors voted to give Bogart the authority to sign contracts related to the building’s renovation.

“Totaling approximately 25,500 square feet, Anderson Hall is our largest academic space, and it is the home for three academic divisions. It needs to be the best possible space so that we can continue to deliver the high-quality education that our students expect and deserve,” the president said. “Given the successful fundraising to this point and the overall institutional resources, the Board is confident that we will fully meet our fundraising target.”

Faculty teaching in the Education, Humanities and Languages & Literature divisions packed up their offices last week, and members of the physical plant moved them Tuesday and Wednesday to available spaces in Thaw, Fayerweather and Carnegie halls.

The College is expected to turn the building over to Joseph Construction for interior demolition after Memorial Day. Lawler-Wood, LLC, has been hired as the owner’s representative for the project. Daryl Johnson of Johnson Architecture has designed the interior space.

The project is expected to take 13 months, but Bogart is cautious when speaking about the timeline. He is aware that construction costs may increase, pushing higher the $6.8 million goal.

“The project team has spent considerable time investigating the building and developing the most accurate cost estimates possible. However, some aspects of the project will remain unknown until the demolition work is done and the entire structure exposed,” the president explained. “In any renovation of an old building, there is the possibility of discovering a complication that can increase cost or delay completion. We have tried to minimize the chances of such an outcome, but the reality is that nothing can be guaranteed.

“The uncertainty about costs is one reason that fundraising efforts are so important.”

Renovated Anderson will be functional, efficient

Working with administrators and faculty members, architects incorporated flexible classroom designs into the plans, 30 offices and three “team” rooms, as well as an outdoor classroom/amphitheater. Utilizing square footage in the basement, they were able to add storage space, a faculty lounge and restrooms.

“Structurally, Anderson Hall is incredibly well built – it just needs a modern upgrade,” said Barry Brooke, executive vice president of Lawler Wood, during an interview about the project in October 2012. “This is a total renovation. The building will be made more functional and efficient brought up to modern comfort and safety standards while preserving the building’s historical facades and iconic features.”

The interior will be taken back to the supporting structure, meaning that interior walls are going to be removed, as well as existing flooring and all ceilings. An elevator, sprinkler system and security system will be installed.

Bogart said construction methods and design will emphasize good stewardship of environmental resources.

“Reusing an existing building is environmentally friendly, but the decision to renovate Anderson Hall is rooted in much more,” the president explained. “This project is a concrete symbol of the way that we are building on the solid history and traditions of Maryville College while continually working to improve everything we do. Anderson Hall's bell tower is the visible symbol of Maryville College, and the renovated Anderson Hall is a symbol of our continued emphasis on academic success here.”

Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the fall 2016 semester is 1,197.