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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