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This item originally appeared in the May 13, 2004 issue of The Tech Talk.


Staff Writer

Hale Hall will undergo its final inspection Wednesday after 19 months of construction.

Jerry Drewett, vice president for administrative services, said officials from the Department of Facility Planning and Control, the university and Triad Builders of Ruston, Inc., as well as the building's architect, Michael Walpole, will decide if Hale Hall is up to state standards.

Drewett said by the time he achieved his current position in 1997, a capital outlay request for funding to remodel Hale Hall had already been made to his department's board of supervisors.

"The old vacant building had deteriorated and looked very bad," Drewett said.

"It was torn down and rebuilt as a historical reconstruction of the original Hale Hall. The architecture firm took a great deal of time to research the building so that it is rebuilt as the original building was."

The reconstruction of Hale Hall began October 2002.

Drewett said the Admissions Office and School of Architecture will move into Hale Hall after all the furniture is in place.

"It may be disrupting to move the offices and students while summer school is in session, and, in that case, we would wait until the end of the summer session," Drewett said.

Drewett also said Hale Hall will be an attractive addition to the campus with interior facilities that will enhance the teaching capabilities and opportunities for architecture students and accommodate the needs of prospective students in the admissions office.

Jan Albritton, director of admissions, said she is looking forward to the move, and the new admissions office in Hale Hall will be a first-class showplace for prospective students and parents.

"It will fit right in with the rest of the university," Albritton said.

Dr. Robert Fakelmann, an associate professor of architecture, has been primarily in charge of specifying all the advanced technology, such as computer software and lab equipment, for Hale Hall.

"Since the building is completely networked, students will be able to access software and peripheral technology such as the use of plotters, large format scanning, three-dimensional printers and computerized numeric control routers," Fakelmann said.

Fakelmann said a drawback with the building is that the School of Architecture has already outgrown it.

Therefore, some freshman courses in design, drawing and the community design assistant center will remain in Wyly Tower of Learning.

"The increase in enrollment has carried the size of the department beyond the building's capacity," Fakelmann said.

One benefit of the School of Architecture moving into Hale Hall, he said, will be the opportunity to bring the faculty and students closer together.

Fakelmann said, "We will gain a greater sense of community, which will better facilitate the culture associated with architectural education."

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