Sanford Hall to house Comm Arts by Jan. 2014

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Emma Collins

The renovation of Sanford Hall, which will be complete by spring 2014, is set to begin in November in anticipation of the Department of Communications Arts transferring its offices and classrooms.

Full construction of Sanford should be underway in January 2013. Upon completion of renovations, Sanford Hall will be a state-of-the-art facility with many classrooms and offices, as well as a TV and radio studio.

“In the department’s new home, students will have more space as well as access to the latest technology. This move will also create vacancies in buildings such as the Williams Center, where the radio station is currently housed,” Curtis Ricker, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, said.

Currently, the department of communication arts is spread across campus, holding classes in the Carroll Building, Veazey Hall, the Williams Center and classrooms in several other buildings.

The move is motivated by a lack of space and an effort to unite communication art students, provide them with updated technology and free up space in other buildings, Ricker said.

Dr. Pamela Bourland-Davis, department chair of communications arts and public relations professor, thinks that the new home will be an improvement for both students and faculty.

“This move will bring students majoring in all areas of communication arts together and improve the efficiency of the department because we’ll now all be housed in the same building. It will develop creative synergy,” Bourland-Davis said.

Sanford Hall is the sixth former residence hall on campus to be renovated, and its interior will be completely gutted. The exterior of the building will be left unaltered to preserve its historic significance.

The designers of the project have worked towards one main goal: creating a new, technologically-advanced learning environment but without changing the outer shell of Sanford Hall so it will maintain its appearance on Sweetheart Circle, Haroun Homayun, Georgia Southern University’s campus architect, said.

“At GSU, we don’t want to demolish old buildings. We do our utmost to renovate them, always keeping the exterior intact. When we’re finished with Sanford Hall, the interior will be very modern, but the outside will look the same as it does now,” Homayun said.

The work to be done to Sanford Hall is extensive, Homayun said.

The department of communication arts encompasses multimedia communications, film production, journalism, public relations, communication studies and theatre.

Sanford Hall was originally built in 1936 and used as a male dormitory. In 1977, the building was remodeled and turned into suite-style dorms. It was used for this purpose until May of 2011 but has been vacant since then.

Homayun said, “The current structure of the building is wood, but the new structure will be steel. We can’t knock out all the wood at once because the shell of the building would collapse if we did. We have to do it bit by bit.”