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This item originally appeared in the October 7, 2004 issue of The Tech Talk.


Staff Writer

Hale Hall has a flaw.

Though architecturally sound, students find the current hours of Hale Hall a source of wasted potential. The hours of Hale Hall are 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday through Friday. Hours are extended until 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday due to a night class.

Jason Henson, a senior architecture major, said the policy is "like giving a child a brand-new toy car and not letting him play with it."

Henson said frustration is building among architecture and interior design majors.

"If the studios have been built, why can't we be in there to use them?" Henson said.

He said the need to use the studios is based on the demands of his major.

"You can't take a huge model home, especially when you spend days and nights on it," Henson said. "It isn't like engineering where their projects usually are complex math problems."

Christal Beach, vice president of the American Institute of Architecture Students and a senior architecture major, said in addition to being aware of the problems, she is one of many attempting to find a solution.

Beach said AIAS has met with Henry Stout, director of architecture; Dr. Ed Jacobs, dean of liberal arts and a professor of English; Dr. Kenneth Rea, vice president of academic affairs and will meet with Tech President Dr. Dan Reneau.

Jacobs said he commends the group for coming to him as professional and prepared individuals.

Jacobs said the main issue discussed was the primary reason for having restricted hours on Hale Hall: energy costs.

Other reasons for the restrictions include security and the changing definition of studio culture, which is how architecture and interior design studios are run.

"In the workplace, architects are not allowed to stay up all night in order to do a project," Jacobs said.

Jacobs said he believes the main issue is to maintain the high-quality architecture program at Tech.

"The university will do everything so that the quality of the work will not be compromised," Jacobs said.

Potential solutions include extended hours, a fob system exclusive to designated majors, a monitoring student worker and conserving energy elsewhere to meet Hale Hall students' needs, Beach said.

"Students are taught in university seminar that for every one classroom hour, there should be three hours worked on outside of class," Beach said. "Hale Hall is not available enough to have that rule hold true for full-time students."

Jeff Hough, a senior architecture major, said he agrees with Beach.

"Students are fighting to be educated," Hough said. "We appreciate the building, but we want to use it."

Hough said he is worried about potential repercussions.

"Tech has raised a reputation for its architecture program," Hough said. "If the hours problem continues, it will diminish because the work will decline.

"Tech may save money by cutting energy costs now, but it will lose money in the long run due to recruiting."

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