UA approves demolition of Harris Hall, former Alpha Gam home
Harris Hall, a traditional-style residential building on Colonial Drive, and the former Alpha Gamma Delta House will be demolished following a vote by the AU Board of Directors on November 5.
The $ 955,000 project, funded by the University’s central reserves, will allow the construction of the fashion and design building, as well as a new sorority house.
Harris Room, built in 1939, currently houses mixed residents. The demolition of the building will allow the University to save $ 221,481 annually in operating and maintenance costs. It will also eliminate over $ 5.2 million in estimated liability for deferred maintenance, not including updating costs to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Aaron Wilkes, master’s student in public administration and Harris Hall community director, is sad to see one of the few traditional-style dorms on campus disappear.
“I love my building,” Wilkes said. “I love the community. I believe that the experience of a traditional dormitory is very valuable.
Harris’ demolition will leave 200 fewer residential spaces despite the overflow of housing on campus which led to the acquisition of off-campus apartments this fall.
All reusable equipment will be removed from the structures prior to demolition. Harris Hall bricks will be reused elsewhere on campus.
Fashion and Design Building
The new building will include exhibition galleries, a studio and an outdoor terrace in addition to classrooms and offices.
According to a brief provided to board members for review, the fashion and design building “will foster growth within the College of Humanities and Environmental Sciences.”
Shirley Foster, chair of the Apparel, Textiles and Interior Design Department, looks forward to the opportunities this new building can bring.
“In a very short time Dr. [Marcy] Koontz, [faculty curator of clothing and textiles], took a collection of historical costumes and created the Fashion Archive, a world-class curated entity that is followed on social media by costume curators at the Met in New York and other major museum fashion collections, ” Foster said.
This new building will house the storage, conservation and exhibition materials of the Archives de la Mode collection. There are also plans to offer graduate certificates in Fashion Collection Management, with students already drawn to the program.
“Our department is extremely grateful for the investment in the future of Fashion Archive,” said Foster. “The building will provide opportunities for study, laboratory conservation, and exhibition for undergraduate and graduate students. Our clothing design students have already benefited from it. Our Dean, Stuart Usdan, puts in a tremendous amount of work to ensure that our new facility is state-of-the-art and of which we can be proud.
New sorority house
The Alpha Gamma Delta sorority moved out of its old chapter house in 2012. The house, which was built in 1960, was used last year to house students on campus who had tested positive for COVID-19.
The demolition will create room for a new sorority house “to accommodate the growth of the Greek system and a chapter house that allows the sorority to be competitive in recruiting.”
The sisterhood who will occupy the house is currently unknown.
“The available site created by the demolition will also provide a new sorority house to accommodate the growth of the Greek system and a chapter house that allows the sorority to be competitive in recruiting by providing a modern facility and similar to the other chapters,” said the package. .
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