BOONE—During his “listening” phase over the course of the 2015-16 academic year, Appalachian State University Provost Darrell Kruger hosted a number of open forums. A constant refrain from faculty and staff attending the forums was the need for expanded and improved academic space.
To that end, Kruger recently announced: “Chancellor Everts and her leadership team allocated more than $2 million from renovation and restoration and carry-forward funding to upgrade the old Presbyterian Church on Howard Street, which the university took possession of more than six years ago.” He said the building, which has been called the College of Education Annex, has been renamed Howard Street Hall and will house two new classrooms and 21 faculty offices. The classrooms will seat between 60 and 80.
Construction on the second and third floor areas of the building is slated to begin in October and, according to Mike O’Connor, director of the university Physical Plant, will be ready for occupancy before the 2017-18 fiscal year.
The area being renovated is 12,878 square feet; the building, including the childcare center it houses, is 21,555 square feet. The current total project estimate, including planning, design, construction and contingency, is $2,418,000, O’Connor said.
The original sanctuary will be transformed into two smart classrooms and will include mechanical space for the heating and air conditioning units. The former office areas will be converted into faculty offices, bathrooms and a conference/work room. An elevator will be installed for access to the top floor.
The existing Lucy Brock Child Development Laboratory Program (LBCDLP) and the two floors above will remain separated to prevent cross traffic. The elevator will only serve the top two floors.
After acquisition of the property in 2010, the university chose to phase the renovation of the building using limited resources. The first renovation was to relocate the LBCDLP, “originally located in a building that was severely inadequate and displaced by the construction of the Plemmons Student Union addition, Summit Hall and Appalachian Hall complex,” O’Connor said. “We temporarily relocated the center into trailers next to the Valborg Theatre until we could renovate the first floor and former Presbyterian Church day care center,” he said.
The original owners of the building constructed a new church on Deerfield Road, southwest of Boone.