Campus improvements help usher in new academic year
From the completion of the fourth floor of Henderson Humanities Building to the introduction of football stadium’s jumbotron, Eagle Vision, Carson-Newman campus improvements have made a significant mark on the new academic year.
“In past years we have been very productive in upgrading areas of campus but I feel like this last year has been the most productive I’ve seen in my 13 years of service here,” said director of physical plant and construction manager, Ondes Webster.
The start of the fall semester began with the opening of the fourth floor of the Henderson Humanities Building. The previously unused level now has several functioning classrooms, a forensics wing, and a study hall. It will soon house a writing lab and tiered classroom. All classrooms are in the process of becoming smart classrooms, featuring computer and audiovisual equipment.
Webster said the Hannah Hylton Pedersen Nursing Building has received a facelift as well. From the completion of a new nursing skills lab to updated heating and air conditioning, the upgrades create a better learning environment according to Webster. The new lab includes suction, better lighting, more sinks, and a more convenient location than the previous lab, which was located in the basement of Heritage Residence Hall.
Alumni Residence Hall is among campus improvements thanks to Carson-Newman’s Women of Vision (WOV) organization. The beautification project will complete the third and final female residence hall to receive décor improvements from WOV. New flooring was recently completed and the women hope to finish the lobby makeover by homecoming.
Women of Vision is also converting a former coffee shop area in the Stephens-Burnett Library into the Fireside Room, a reading and study room near the entrance of the building.
The new Maples Library Café brings past to present by transforming the old Maples Library into an Internet café and study lounge, featuring Java City Coffee and café food. The Café is located at the rear of the current Stephens-Burnett Library.
The football gameday experience at Burke-Tarr Stadium is enhanced this season thanks to the $300,000 video board, Eagle Vision, as well as an upgraded sound system. Paid for by an anonymous donor, the board is the third largest among Division II schools.
“If you’re not moving up, you’re moving down,” head football coach Ken Sparks said. “We’ve got folks who see the ministry and see the Lord’s hand in this and are willing to help us move up.”
Other athletic improvements include renovations to team locker rooms, trophy displays, and Holt Fieldhouse. The swimming pool has even been transitioned for use by the University’s new swim team.
Carson-Newman also installed new roofs on Butler-Blanc Gymnasium, the History and Political Science Building, the Hannah Hylton Pedersen Nursing building, and the Seaton House.
Baptist Builders helped to renovate the second oldest building on campus, Butler-Blanc Gymnasium. The disaster-relief and construction volunteer organization repaired old windows, refinished sections of flooring, painted, renovated the ceiling, and repaired the building’s concrete step entrance. The building currently houses the BOLD (Basics of Leadership Development) co-curriculum programs.
“Everything filters right back down to the student,” said Webster. “Directly or indirectly they are touched by everything on that list (of improvements). They are always our priority.”