Extensive ceiling repair work began last week inside Maryville College’s historic Anderson Hall. The work, which is another step toward securing the 140-year-old building for a major interior renovation, will continue through the holiday break.
“The repairs that are being performed in the next few weeks are not a part of the larger renovation that we hope to undertake in the next few years, but it is necessary to keep the building in good repair for the students, faculty and staff who learn, teach and work there,” said Dr. William T. “Tom” Bogart, Maryville College president.
Joseph Construction has been contracted to do the work in approximately 30 spaces (classrooms, hallways, stairwells and offices) inside Anderson Hall. According to Maryville College Physical Plant Director Andy McCall, problem areas in the plaster-and-lath ceiling on the second and third floors will be secured with metal lath that is screwed into the above floor joists.
Several spaces will get new ceiling tiles, he said, explaining that Anderson Hall received a new slate roof in 2008 but tiles damaged from previous leaks were never replaced.
New energy efficient pendant light fixtures will be installed in many of the classrooms.
The work, which is expected to cost approximately $60,000, should be completed before Jan. 3, 2011, when January Term classes begin at the College.
The oldest building on Maryville’s campus, Anderson was completed in 1870 and named for the College’s founder, the Rev. Isaac Anderson, who established the school in 1819. Anderson Hall has provided classroom and faculty office space throughout its history. It also housed the president’s suite and the offices of many college administrators from 1870 until 2001, when a rebuilt Fayerweather Hall was opened.
“Because of Anderson Hall’s multipurpose use over the years, we are confident in saying that all of Maryville College’s living alumni have passed through its tall wooden doors,” Bogart said. “That’s a shared experience of more than 9,000 people! For that reason - and because of its architectural uniqueness and its tie to our founder - Anderson Hall is a campus treasure.”
A $6-million campaign to renovate Anderson Hall was launched officially as a part of the College’s Window of Opportunity strategic plan. In 2006, the College hired Grieve Associates Architects to head the renovation. L. Duane Grieve is the principal architect on the project.
By 2008, the College had raised $2 million - enough to complete Phase I of the project, which was focused on securing the exterior of the building. Scaffolding went up in the spring of 2008 so that workers could remove old mortar in the brickwork and replace with new mortar, restore the bell tower and mount new gutters and downspouts. A new slate roof was installed, and footings and foundations (first poured just four years after the Civil War’s ending) were stabilized.
Phase II of the project, which is expected to cost approximately $4 million, entails renovating interior space to meet the needs of 21st-century learning.
In addition to redesigning the space for different kinds of workspaces (classrooms, office spaces and meeting rooms), the building will be wired for state-of-the-art technology and be made completely handicap accessible, which includes, among other measures, installing an elevator.
To date, 10 alumni classes at the College have given or pledged nearly $500,000 to restore Anderson Hall. Holly Jackson-Sullivan, vice president for advancement and community relations at the College, said more alumni are being encouraged to participate in the campaign.
Numerous naming opportunities exist, she said, adding that they start with a gift of $10,000. For a gift of $500,000, a donor can name the bell tower, which has become the icon of the College in recent decades.
Jackson-Sullivan said she believes the project may appeal to individuals and organizations committed to historic preservation.
“Anderson Hall was entered on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975,” she said. “Its application describes the building as ‘extremely important to the city of Maryville’ because of its value as an architectural landmark and its role in education in the years following the Civil War.”
More information on the planned renovation and campaign, as well as old photos and alumni memories of the 140-year-old building, can be found on the College’s website, maryvillecollege.edu.