August 30, 2000

White Hall to Undergo Renovations

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With the music department settling into its new state of the art Lincoln Hall location and the math department taking up residence in Mallot Hall, White Hall is suddenly up for grabs.

The government department, which currently shares McGraw Hall with both the history and anthropology departments, will get a break from its current cramped conditions and will call White Hall its new home.

But before anyone can move into the decrepit building for good, much-needed improvements must be completed. Renovation is currently scheduled to begin in approximately one year and is projected to be completed two years from now.

The government department moved into McGraw Hall from Sibley Hall in 1972. White Hall has been occupied by the Math Department for many years and also temporarily housed the Music Department while Lincoln Hall was under construction this past year.

“[The Government Department] is kind of maxed out with the offices we have now,” said Michael Busch, administrative director of the government department.

Space in McGraw Hall has been in high demand in recent years. The anthropology department has been housed in the basement and some government teaching assistants have already had to find office space in White Hall due to the lack of room, Busch said.

Busch said he remembered discussing the possibility of moving the government department with University officials about 15 years ago but that no concrete plans had been made until recently.

“[White Hall] is badly in need of renovation,” said Philip Lewis, arts school dean. “The college badly needs to provide decent quarters for the Department of Government, which we hope to house there eventually, along with some college offices.”

The John S. Knight Writing Program and the College of Arts and Sciences Administration and Registrar’s Offices will also be making the move next door to White Hall.

“Have you been inside White Hall lately? It’s a dump. It’s going to have to be totally renovated,” Busch said.

Lewis said that raising funds to complete the renovations is the college’s top fundraising priority because of the need to make the building ready as quickly as possible.

Prof. Elizabeth Sanders, government, said she and the other government professors definitely needed more space. However, she questioned how much input the department actually had in the decision to leave McGraw, a location she said she would miss greatly.

“[McGraw Hall] is a tweedy old building and we’re a tweedy old department,” she said. “But we haven’t started putting things in boxes yet.”

Archived article by Katherine Davis