Renovations and repairs gave Elliott Hall new life as the building reopened this fall after a water main break last winter caused significant damage.
Flooding and other water damage ruined most of the woodwork of the building, and some professors lost possessions as well. Major repairs went underway in the spring to restore Elliott Hall.
The Ohio Wesleyan University administration wanted to use this opportunity to see what other improvements could be made, according to Peter Schantz, director of physical plant for Buildings and Grounds.
“Besides the insurance company paying for the restoration of the building resulting from the damage, we also identified upgrades that we wanted to make that were not part of the claim,” Schantz said.
These upgrades include three new classrooms and two conference rooms in the basement of Elliott. The basement contains an additional common space with couches and tables as well.
“The addition of the basement classrooms have definitely opened up a lot more options for types of classroom experiences,” said senior Zach Paull, a history education major.
Many of the classrooms have new TVs that make it easier to connect to computers for presentations. The chalkboards were replaced by glass boards that look and act like white boards, but are more durable and easier to clean.
New desks allow students to move around easily and do group work.
“The flexibly of the furniture changes the dynamics of the intro classes,” said Ellen Arnold, assistant professor of history.
Leveling the floors and providing better insulation of the building was another important upgrade, according to Schantz.
Arnold pointed out several classrooms on a tour of the building in which ramps were necessary to make the floor level. Some even required an additional level, as in professor of politics and government Sean Kay’s office.
Air conditioning and a new paint job completed the renovations.
“You’d be surprised how much of a difference the new paint job has on the feel of the classrooms and halls if you saw the before and after,” Paull said.
Arnold stated the paint and new blinds provide more light in the classrooms, which makes them more inviting.