Changes on campus include demolition of Hodges Hall, ban on tobacco; construction projects

Updated 6 years ago Special to HNN Provided by Marshall University
The Arthur Weisberg Family Applied Engineering Complex is expected to open in spring 2015.
The Arthur Weisberg Family Applied Engineering Complex is expected to open in spring 2015.
Photo by Rick Haye
HUNTINGTON, W.Va.- The start of the fall semester at Marshall University is always a time of change on the Huntington campus. Yesterday, the first day of classes, was no exception as thousands of students quickly discovered.

The most eye-catching change this fall is in the center of campus where green space, along with new lights, trees and sidewalks, has replaced Hodges Hall, which was demolished this summer. The location where Hodges Hall, a former men's dormitory, stood for 76 years is now open, presenting a splendid view of both ends of campus from that area.

Hodges Hall had become too expensive to maintain and was not air conditioned, and students had not lived there since 2007.

Marshall's men and women now play their home soccer matches at the new Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex on 5th Avenue, where Veterans Memorial Field House once stood. Athletic Director Mike Hamrick said the Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex is one of the best soccer venues in the country.

The facility was officially dedicated and the field named in honor of the Jeff Hoops Family as Marshall's women's team played the first regular-season game there last Friday, defeating Campbell University, 3-0.

Marshall officially became a tobacco-free university June 11 when the tobacco ban was approved.  Signs have been placed throughout campus, reminding students, staff, faculty and visitors of the tobacco ban, which went into effect July 1.

If part of Joan C. Edwards Stadium looks larger this fall to Herd fans, it's probably because four sky suites have been added to the top of the press box. Also, getting from the concourse to the press box or sky suites will be easier and quicker, thanks to repairs made on the two existing elevators and the addition of a third elevator. Marshall plays at home at 7 p.m. Saturday, taking on Miami (Ohio).

Of course, and most importantly, an estimated 2,500-3,000 new students - freshmen and transfers - will be enrolled in classes this fall. That number includes a new group of international students, representing the first class of the new INTO Marshall Program.

Marshall has partnered with INTO, a private company that forms joint partnerships with leading universities around the world to expand opportunities for higher education. Its offices on Marshall's campus are in the former Marshall Community and Technical College building, which was renovated this year at a cost of $2.3 million.

 The Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex is the new home of Thundering Herd men's and women's soccer
The Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex is the new home of Thundering Herd men's and women's soccer
Photos by Rick Haye/Marshall University

Also this summer, work continued or has begun on:

Construction of the $50 million Arthur Weisberg Family Applied Engineering Complex, located on Third Avenue between the Arthur Weisberg Family Engineering Laboratories and the Robert C. Byrd Biotechnology Science Center.The project is expected to be completed in spring 2015.

A $13 million renovation of the former Stone & Thomas building in downtown Huntington to create a state-of-the-art educational space for Marshall's visual arts program. The center will house studios and classrooms, plus ground-floor retail and gallery space. The expected completion date is June 1, 2014.

Construction of an Indoor Practice Facility, Sports Medicine Translational Research Center, Hall of Fame Atrium and Student-Athlete Academic Center next to the Joan C. Edwards Stadium.

Renovation projects in the Gullickson Hall wellness center, Old Main rooms 213 and 310, Harris Hall room 448 and Smith Hall.

In Smith Hall, the College of Arts and Media established a Student Success Center near the Birke Art Gallery on the first floor. Tammy Reynolds, director of the center, said it is a place where students in the College of Arts and Media can go specifically for advice regarding their major. About 10 smart classroom upgrades consisting of new furniture, new white boards, painting, cleaning and repairing ceilings took place.

The demolition of Hodges Hall opened up the center of Marshall's Huntington campus.
The demolition of Hodges Hall opened up the center of Marshall's Huntington campus.
Photos by Rick Haye/Marshall University

Sidewalks and lights were replaced on 3rd Avenue, and new flowers were planted around campus. Total cost of these renovations and upgrades was about $435,000. Jim Terry, director of public safety at MU, said no changes have been made in parking since last year on the Huntington campus. He did, however, emphasize that the year-old 6th Avenue garage, with its 412 spaces, is a convenient place for students to park.The cost is 50 cents an hour.This will be its first full year in operation.

Academically this summer, Marshall streamlined its academic college structure. The changes, which began July 1, included: the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications joining with the School of Music and Theatre and the School of Art and Design to form the new College of Arts and Media; the Graduate School of Education and Professional Development and the College of Education combining programs to become a new comprehensive College of Education and Professional Development.

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