Four Campus Renovation Projects Receive Funding

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Fairmont State University and Pierpont Community & Technical College students will ultimately benefit from $18.7 million for building renovation projects through bonds funded using West Virginia Lottery revenue.

Approved renovation projects on the main campus in Fairmont shared by FSU and Pierpont are planned for the Turley Center ($6 million); Wallman Hall ($5.2 million); the Ruth Ann Musick Library ($2 million); and Hardway Hall ($5.5 million). At the beginning of the project selection process that began in 2009, FSU had no projects included on the list, but by the end of the process, four renovation projects were approved for funding.

"Fairmont State University owes a word of thanks to Gov. Joe Manchin and our legislators for making a commitment to the renovation and preservation of existing facilities. FSU would also like to thank Chancellor Brian Noland and the state Higher Education Policy Commission for their continued support. Investing in our state's colleges and universities is a sound investment in the future of West Virginia," said Dr. Tom Krepel, FSU President.

During the 2009 Special Session, the state Legislature approved reauthorization of the Education, Arts, Science and Tourism (EAST) Bonds with debt service to be funded using Lottery revenue. The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) approved a list of EAST Bond projects, which was forwarded to Gov. Joe Manchin for certification. The governor modified the list. Senate Bill 612 from the 2010 Regular Session further modified the EAST Bond process, allowing the governor to adjust the certified list of projects up to the time of bond issuance.

Gov. Manchin forwarded a list of 45 projects approved during the July 15, 2010, meeting of the West Virginia Economic Development Authority. With a cost of about $150 million, the projects will result in capital improvements for state colleges, state buildings and state parks. On July 23, 2010, the state HEPC approved capital projects funding.

The renovation projects on the FSU and Pierpont shared main campus will include the following:

Turley Center:

The Turley Center will undergo a major renovation, creating there a Student Access and Support Center to assist with enrollment management. The center's focus will be to aid efforts to recruit and retain students and to help them succeed with their academic degree program to graduation. The intention is to give students one central location where they can find all the support services they need.

The renovation project will consist of a complete interior gutting of the building back to its bare structure. All existing mechanical and electrical systems will be removed. New office partitioning, along with new ceiling and floor finishes, will be installed throughout the facility. All new plumbing, HVAC and electrical systems will be installed throughout the facility. 

Originally called the Student Center and built in 1958, the Turley Center was renamed for George H. Turley in 1980. He served for 30 years as English and speech teacher and as dean of men. He served as advisor to the Student Government for 24 years.

Wallman Hall:

The renovation project will consist of complete overhaul of the mechanical and electrical systems. A more energy efficient HVAC system will be installed. New plumbing will include water saving fixtures and controls. Electrical upgrades will include new switchgear, lighting with energy saving ballasts and bulbs and an addressable fire alarm system. It is anticipated that new ceilings will be installed in certain areas as required for the installation of these systems. 

Wallman Hall, which houses the School of Fine Arts, was built in 1964. In addition to classrooms and faculty offices, the building houses a 400-seat auditorium used for campus events, the Tower Room Gallery and the James Brooks Memorial Gallery. The building was renamed in honor of Lawrence A. Wallman in 1980. He served on the faculty for 41 years. He organized the summer theatre and wrote and/or directed more than 200 productions for the college and the community.

Ruth Ann Musick Library:

The renovation project will consist of the installation of a new elevator to serve as ADA access to the library. The elevator will be located on the west end of the library near the entrance to the outdoor tunnel.

Built in 1950, the Library was renamed in 1980 in honor of Dr. Ruth Ann Musick, who was the primary female folklore scholar to preserve and perpetuate the cultural heritage of West Virginia, mainly through the recording of supernatural legends. In 2005, a three-floor addition was constructed, including a computer lounge and Starbucks coffee bar. At that time, the circulation desk was relocated to create easier access and to allow more space upstairs for the library's holdings.

Hardway Hall:

The renovation project will consist of a complete overhaul of the building's mechanical and electrical systems. A more energy efficient HVAC system will be installed. New plumbing will include water saving fixtures and controls. Electrical upgrades will include new switchgear, lighting with energy saving ballasts and bulbs and an addressable fire alarm system. It is anticipated that new ceilings will be installed in certain areas as required for the installation of these systems. Window air conditioners will be removed, and more energy efficient windows may be installed if funds are available.

Built in 1915 and occupied since 1917, the building was referred to as the Administration Building but was renamed in 1989 for Wendell G. Hardway, who was president of Fairmont State from 1973-1988. Hardway Hall was included on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994. The building was the first constructed on the Locust Avenue campus, formerly the Kennedy farm. It also was the site of the founding of Alpha Psi Omega, the national collegiate drama honorary and the site of the development of the National Thespian Society, a high school drama honorary.