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Ennis Hall reopens after 2 1/2 year transformation

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Posted: 
June 05, 2014

The grand reopening of Ennis Hall will take place June 12.The grand reopening of Ennis Hall will take place June 12.Ennis Hall has undergone a 2 ½ year transformation from the remnants of a 1920s women’s dormitory to a highly interactive, useable space that will be the home to the Georgia College Department of Art. 

“This is a very exciting time for our department. Our environment affects our identities, and this move brings us physically closer to campus as we bring the university closer to us,” said Bill Fisher, chair of the Department of Art. “We look forward to using Ennis as not only a resource for our students, but also for the community as a whole, as we continue to provide art exhibits and showcase our student work and the works of others in this new space.”

With the completion of Ennis Hall, Georgia College continues to move forward in its goal of preserving the past, while bringing campus buildings into the modern world of academia.

“Because we are Georgia College, having these historical buildings throughout our campus is something we should celebrate,” said Michael Rickenbaker, university architect and director of Facilities Planning. “We could do what other schools do and rebuild or gut the building, but what we chose to do is something that was compassionate and recognized its historical past.”

Ennis Hall first opened as a dormitory in the 1920s.Ennis Hall first opened as a dormitory in the 1920s.Ennis Hall underwent an architectural process known as adaptive reuse, which is the act of using an older building for a purpose for which it wasn’t initially intended.

Many structures on campus including Terrell Hall, constructed in 1908 as a residence hall, have undergone adaptive reuse, turning campus buildings into useable office and educational spaces.

Georgia College will hold a grand reopening celebration of Ennis Hall Thursday, June 12. The ribbon-cutting ceremony takes place at 1 p.m., and tours will follow throughout the afternoon.

Lecture and information sessions discussing different aspects of the building will also take place in the first floor gallery of Ennis Hall. The lectures begin at 9 a.m. with a focus on Ennis past; at 10 a.m. the discussion moves to Ennis present; and at 11 a.m., Ennis’ future will be the topic.

The restoration was planned by Lord Aeck Sargent (LAS) architects, and the building was renovated by the construction manager Garbutt/Christman.

The university and Board of Regents provided initial funding for design before receiving appropriations in 2012 and 2013. Official funding from the state Legislature came in two parts, with the first construction funding in May 2012, and furniture, fixtures and equipment funding in 2013. 

ABOUT GEORGIA COLLEGE: Georgia College, the state’s designated Public Liberal Arts University, combines the educational experience expected at esteemed private liberal arts colleges with the affordability of public higher education. Its four colleges – arts and sciences, business, education and health sciences – provide 6,600 undergraduate and graduate students with an exceptional learning environment that extends beyond the classroom, with hands-on involvement with faculty research, community service, study abroad and myriad internships.

Founded in 1889, Georgia College boasts one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation with Corinthian columns fronting red brick buildings and wide open green spaces. Georgia College also offers graduate education at the historic Jefferson building in downtown Macon, at Robins Air Force Base and online.

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For more information, contact University Communications at (478) 445-4477.


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