Daily photos by Emily Saunders|
Debbie Lowery checks out protozoan parasites during her microbiology lab class Wednesday in the new Math-Science Building that Calhoun Community College opened this week.
A new look
for old Calhoun
Students can expect to walk more when fall semester starts
By Bayne Hughes
Calhoun Community College may look like a construction dust bowl, but there’s a method to the madness that school officials expect will be finished when the fall semester begins in August.
The college is on the back end of a $44 million construction plan that began with the renovation and expansion of the Noble Russell Building in 2005 and included a $13.5 million Health Sciences Building.
Although summer classes began this week in the new building, crews are still finishing the 84,000-square-foot Math-Science Building, which cost about $22 million. They’ve just begun the landscaping.
Public Relations Director Janet Martin said President Marilyn Beck’s goal when they began the most extensive construction in Calhoun’s history was to change the college’s look.
“She wanted to make it look more like a traditional college campus and less like a two-year college,” Martin said.
Martin said there’s good news and bad news for the students, staff and instructors.
She said the school should have enough parking, something that’s been a problem in recent years, but people should expect to walk more. The very few spots near the buildings will be reserved for handicap parking.
“Students who finish class in the spring and don’t return until fall semester will be surprised with all of the change,” she said.
Campus vehicle traffic will be limited to a main drive that circles campus. The center entrance no longer cuts through the middle of campus, ending at the Chasteen Student Center. The street between the Health Science Building and Aerospace Training Center is scheduled for closure.
Greg Broadway, with Outdoor Elegance, lays bricks outside the Math-Science Building on Wednesday.
The administration office moved to the third floor of the Math-Science Building, so the Social Science Department moved into the Wallace Administration Building.
Crews demolished the old part of Harris Hall in early May, and the Rice-Science building will be destroyed in a few weeks after the move into the Math-Science Building is complete.
Because parking is no longer near the buildings, the school is building a brick walkway that will run the length of the 1-mile campus when complete.
Green is the highlight of this campus renovation. The college is spending $300,000 on landscaping from a grant that Gov. Bob Riley gave the school. The Math-Science Building will have a large front lawn. A portion of the Harris Hall parking lot will be torn up and turned into green space.
Calhoun expects about $3 million from a bond issue for schools that the state Legislature passed during its spring session. Martin said the college would use this money to renovate Harris Hall and the Fine Arts building next year.
“Fine Arts is one of the oldest buildings on campus, and Harris Hall just needs some renovations,” Martin said.
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