This item originally appeared in the October 14, 2004 issue of The Tech Talk.
By MELISSA WALKER
Architecture and interior design students got their wish.
Extended Hale Hall hours went into effect Monday.
The hours have been extended Monday through Thursday from 6 to 11 p.m. The building will be open Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 11 p.m.
The former hours of Hale Hall were 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday through Friday.
Dr. Kenneth Rea, vice president of academic affairs, said the new hours are more appropriate.
"The decision to extend the hours was needed to ensure the quality of the program," Rea said.
Rea also said the quality of the program had recently come into question, due to the limited number of hours and the demands of the designated majors.
Rea said architecture and interior design majors have been actively addressing this issue in a professional manner in their meetings with representatives of Tech.
Rea said the initial reasons for the limited hours are still valid.
"The cost of energy and security were the main reasons for closing the building early," Rea said. "However, the first thing we are about at Tech is education and receiving a quality experience. There is no question about whether academic integrity is more important than the cost of energy."
Rea said the university will absorb the additional cost of energy in a general budget.
Rea said the issue of security is also being handled with the use of a fob system, restricted to students enrolled in studio classes, that will go into effect on a quarterly basis.
He said campus police will patrol and enforce closing hours.
Rea also said the original hours were set due to assurance that limited hours would not be a determining factor in the quality of the students' work.
"I am not an architect," Rea said. "I depend on the architecture department to inform us about the needs of the department."
David Yount II, president of the American Institute of Architecture Students and a senior architecture major, said the architecture department is grateful for the hours change.
"This was a big surprise to us," Yount said. "Now we will be able to utilize Hale Hall's unbelievable studio environment."
Yount said he owes the change to Tech President Dr. Dan Reneau's open-door policy.
"Dr. Reneau made us feel at home," Yount said. "He promised to work on a solution that would benefit the School of Architecture, the university and the students."
Yount said the hours changed because the faculty was there to actually listen to the concerns about the program.
Melody McNabb, a sophomore architecture major, said she is also grateful to Dr. Reneau.
"I would like to tell [Dr. Reneau] thank you, and that we are here to back up his decisions," McNabb said.
Rea said he believes the confusion about the need for hours can be attributed to the quirks of a new building.
"Whenever you move into a new building there will be a few problems," Rea said. "I guess this was the problem for Hale Hall."