By Jaci Schneider, Copy Editor
For three years, the old Burford Music Building has sat quietly dormant on campus, unused by students. However, in the past couple of weeks, the building has come to life again as demolition crews work to remove asbestos and ready it for renovation.
The newly renovated building will soon be home to the Department of Education and the administrations offices of the newly formed College of Education and Human Services. The estimated $3 million project is scheduled to be complete by August 2006, Kevin Watson, associate vice president for Administrative Services, said in an e-mail.
Dr. Jerry Whitworth, chair of the Department of Education, said the building will add 50 percent more space for the department and will allow faculty to consolidate programs.
“We’re really excited about that,” Whitworth said.
Watson said the building will be about 18,500 square feet. Whitworth, Watson and Dr. Colleen Durington, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, worked on the building plans with the architect, Tittle Luther Partnership. The building will include several offices for college administrators and education faculty and staff, five classrooms, three conference rooms and an expanded curriculum/materials room.
“It’s going to be a pretty extensive renovation,” Whitworth said.
The building will also receive a new front and back facade, he said.
As of Thursday, workers were removing asbestos from the building. The cost of the removal is about $100,000, Watson said. The demolition process should take about a few weeks.
Currently, the Education Department splits its classes between Chambers Hall and the Administration Building, which causes hassles for faculty, Whitworth said. With the new building, programs can assimilate more effectively. For example, the Reading Clinic, where education students tutor elementary school children, is now in the Administration Building, away from professors’ offices.
“It makes it hard to integrate,” Whitworth said.
The new building, which is unofficially being called the College of Education, will likely be named after a donor, Whitworth said.
The new building will include the latest technology, including wireless Internet access throughout the building. This feature will allow any room to be able to transform into a computer lab, Whitworth said.