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TWU Arts and Sciences Building Ready for Fall Semester

TWU Arts and Sciences Building Ready for Fall Semester

8/19/02


DENTON — On the outside, the Arts and Sciences Building at Texas Woman's University doesn't look dramatically different than it did 42 years ago when it opened. On the inside, the recently renovated building has the feel of a corporate headquarters and offers students and faculty the latest in instructional technology.

"Before, the Arts and Sciences Building was a nondescript box with old, brown metal desks, Now, it is a grand modern building poised to take TWU into the 21st century of technology and instruction," said Randall Scott of Dallas-based Randall Scott Architects Inc., which redesigned the building.

A ceremony to mark the reopening of ASB will take place from 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Aug. 22 in the building's courtyard, which is located near the intersection of Oakland Avenue and Third Street. After a short presentation by TWU Chancellor Dr. Ann Stuart and Board of Regents Chair and Presiding Officer Marie Martch, tours of ASB will be available. The public is invited to attend the event.

"The original building was built in the 1950s and was structurally sound, but severely outdated from a technology, instructional and accessibility standpoint," said Scott.

"RSA's design called for state-of-the art technology in the classrooms, and a tiered lecture hall where students can plug in their laptop computers at any location in the room and follow along or download the instructor's presentation," Scott said. "The building also has the infrastructure for distance learning technology."

"The faculty is excited about the building," said Dr. Carolyn Gunning, dean of the College of Nursing, which is housed in the Arts and Sciences Building. "The classrooms are wonderful."

Some of the 13 classrooms have two-person work stations while others have more traditional student desks. All the classrooms, however, are equipped with the latest high-tech instructional equipment, which can be controlled from each classroom's lecture station.

"I'm excited about the incorporation of instructional technology into the classrooms. Before, you had to roll equipment in and out for each class," said Dr. Patricia Hamilton, professor of nursing, who sat on the committee that made renovation recommendations.

"There was a lot of discussion about current and future use and projecting future use of space. We spent six months with the architect discussing needs. And everyone (departments) that uses the building had input."

ASB also contains a nursing lab, three seminar rooms, three computer labs, the Center for Nonlinear Research, a research and reading room for graduate students and a student lounge with study space. The College of Nursing, which averages 1,400 students and is the largest in the state of Texas, moved back into ASB the week of Aug. 5.

"Inside the building, the existing brick corridors were preserved for their warmth, and the exposed raw concrete columns were wrapped in complimentary cherry wood paneling," Scott said. "Each column is crowned with a copper light sconce, creating a rhythm of light and shadow.

"The interior building finishes are durable and cost effective, yet stimulating and modern, incorporating a pallet of the timeless 'environmental colors'."

ASB's mechanical and electrical systems also were updated during the renovation, and some exterior fašade changes were made. The building's windows, which weren't energy efficient, have been replaced by modern black insulated glass. New cast stone colonnades also were added to the Oakland Avenue and Redbud Lane entrances.

University officials estimate the cost of razing and rebuilding the 48,163 square-foot ASB would have been three to four times the $4.5 million renovation cost. "Since the building structure was sound, renovation was good stewardship of the taxpayer's dollars," Scott noted. Constructors Inc. of Dallas was the general contractor on the project.

The first day of classes in ASB will be Aug. 26, the start of the fall semester.

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Note: The media is welcome to attend the open house on Thursday, Aug. 22 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Parking will be available on Oakland Avenue, across from the Arts and Sciences Building.


For Further Information Contact:

Roy Kron
Director of News and Information
Tel: (940) 898-3456
e-mail: rkron@twu.edu