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Academics

Decommissioning and razing of Carson Hall authorized

Sarah Banks and Maddy Dillon, Staff Writers

The long-awaited fate of Carson Hall has been decided.  According to an email from Jonathan Ehrlich, Vice President for Administration and Finance, the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees met earlier this month and approved the decommissioning and razing of Carson Hall, planned to take place this summer.

According to Ehrlich, the college community, in consultation with the Board, will begin a feasibility study for a major fund-raising effort in order to fund a new academic building.  Part of this effort will be in the hands of the Advancement office, working to increase the understanding among potential donors of the need for a new academic building.

Carson Hall was originally built in 1926 as Anne C. Carson’s gift to the college. Prior to being shut down due to mold infestation last summer, it was the home of the Education, Religion, Peace Studies, and Outdoor Leadership Department, as well as the Environmental Leadership Center.

All departments mentioned above were relocated to temporary locations.  Pat Tuttle, Education professor, was given a “corner” in Ransom next to the bathrooms.

“My teaching has been affected by just trying to keep everything organized and accessible in such a small space,” Tuttle said.

“For most of the fall, I had most of my materials in my car, calling it my “coffice,” Tuttle added.

“Meetings are underway to ensure that all of those dislocated from Carson will have supportive work and teaching space until a new academic building is complete,” Ehrlich wrote.

“I empathize with the administration for having to find space for all of us…I can manage where I am but I am not sure it is best for Service Learning and all the people who work so hard in that building,” Tuttle said.

Although nothing is certain yet, the demolishment will likely take place over the summer.

“If it’s appropriate, I think it would be great to use student labor on the project” President Sandy Pfeiffer said. “Of course we would need a professional firm to oversee the taking down of the building, and this is purely speculation at the moment, but I would say that it might be a combination of the two. I think we’d all like to use some student labor if we can. PAC and I will be looking into the feasibility of doing so.”

Plans for a decommissioning ceremony to celebrate the life of the building are also being made. Whether the soon-to-be-empty space will be used for the new building, or as a scenic viewing spot for the mountains, remains to be decided.

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