Guest Contributor, Veronica Garrou
Construction recently began on the main Emory & Henry campus in two locations, one on each side of the tracks, to better accommodate new and existing campus resources.
The first of these sites is Carriger Hall, formerly a men’s residence hall, which is being thoroughly renovated and remodeled to house the new School of Business. Such renovations, however, prove complicated given the building’s historic significance to the campus.
“We are working with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources to restore much of the interior of the building in order to help finance renovation costs with historic and new market tax credits,” Mark Graham, Vice President for Administration and General Counsel, said.
In order to qualify for those tax credits much of the interior of Carriger Hall won’t change structurally, such as the lobby and diverging wings.
“Many of the interior hallways will remain the same, but walls between rooms can be removed,” Graham stated.
In addition to structural and integral updates, the Dean of the School of Business, Dr. Emmett Tracy, is collaborating on the project to create an interior space of board rooms and office environments with new technology.
However, at every level the building’s historic features will be maintained.
The second project currently underway on the main campus is the renovation of Damer House, which formerly served as a residential building in The Village. The updated building is becoming the home of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), as well as the new home of the Inclusion and Dialogue (ID) Center.
Previously, the ID Center and the Office of DEI were located in Scarbrough House between the recently demolished Matthews Hall and the McGlothlin Center for the Arts.
This move was made to best accommodate the growing ID Center and Office of DEI with larger spaces for student planning, work, and DEI programming.
Both current projects aren’t set to be completed until the fall of 2023 due to the time needed to raise and allocate funds for the Carriger renovations.
“Right now we have raised enough to demolish Matthews Hall behind Carriger and are working to stabilize the interior,” Graham said. “We will soon begin demo work on the non-historic features that will not be retained. While fundraising is ongoing, we have engaged an architect to prepare construction drawings that will be used in the renovation.”
Graham also mentioned future projects including the addition of a track and other renovations to the King Center, as he stated that athletics has outgrown that facility.