Williamson Hall undergoes renovations

The renovation work on Williamson Hall, which has been a part of the Tech cam­pus since 1940, is expected to be completed by mid-Decem­ber, university officials have said.

Tech recently received a $600,000 grant to aid in the renovation project. This grant was from the Arkansas Nat­ural and Cultural Resources Council.

“Renovating facilities like Williamson Hall allows us to strike an appropriate balance between honoring our storied past and providing for the educational needs of our stu­dents today and in the future,” Mike Hutchison, vice president of advance­ment, said.

One of the main things that will be changing in Williamson Hall is the ac­cessibility, Dr. Cathi McMahan, head of the Department of Parks, Recre­ation and Hospitality Administration, said.

In addition, Williamson Hall will be going from window units for air conditioning to a centralized air unit. “We will also be receiving an elevator, fire suppression system and another set of staircase,” McMahan said.

She said she is excited about the changes because they will help all stu­dents.

“The renovation is a welcome change. Before we were not accessible but now we can accommodate all stu­dents,” McMahan said.

The Williamson renovations have affected the hospitality pro­gram, which has been housed in Williamson. This semester the program, along with parks and recreation, are housed in South Hall.

“We have had to move our weekly dinners to Lake Point for this semester,” Mc­Mahan said. While perhaps inconvenient, it has also al­lowed for an educational op­portunity, with guest chefs invited to share their expertise with students, according to McMahan.

Shelby Fitts, a hospitality major from Conway, said she sees the good and bad from the renovations.

“I think this was a great chance to update different parts of Williamson Hall to help im­prove the educational experience,” Fitts said. “The problem is for the se­niors because this is their last semester and their whole schedule is jumbled up because of the renovations going on.”

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