Constructed in 1908, Terrell Hall was originally called Lamar Hall. According to Bob Wilson, University Historian, “no building on the campus has more completely preserved its architectural integrity.”
In 1913, the name was changed in honor of former Georgia governor Joseph M. Terrell. Since its construction, the building has served as a dormitory, but it was eventually converted into offices for faculty and staff in the early 2000s.
The current renovation process began in Spring 2018. Due to problems associated with air-conditioning and wiring problems, GC administration decided it was time to completely revitalize Terrell Hall. Terrell has had minor renovations in the past, but this has been the first major renovation the building has had in over 100 years.
Rick Ruark, associate director for planning construction and business services on Terrell Hall, said they are on track to have the building ready for use by Spring 2020.
The renovation project also included the replacement of Kilpatrick Hall’s windows, which ended up costing $13.3 million. GC received funding for the renovation from a state general obligation bond approved by Governor Nathan Deal and the Georgia Assembly.
Terrell is made up of four floors including the basement. Before the restoration, there was no access for students to get to the bottom floor from the outside. After renovations, however, the bottom floor will be open for students from doorways on either side of the building and at the back facing the Arts and Science building.
This bottom floor will include two technical collaboration spaces on either end of the building, a screening room, a research lab living room, a research lab observation room, a conference room and two offices for professors.
“You will be able to see straight down the hallway to the other end,” said University Architect Michael Rickenbaker. “We wanted to open up this building as much as we could.” The second floor of the building, the ground floor, includes faculty and staff offices as well as the central staircase. Similar to the first floor, the second floor also has one flexible collaboration space and one technical collaboration space on opposite ends of the building.
The second floor also offered discoveries that neither Rickenbaker nor Ruark expected. During selective demolition they struck what they called a “true treasure.”
“We knew there were arches, we weren’t positive, but on some of the doorways, we did not know they were there until we tore out and exposed them,” Rickenbaker said. “It was a great find.”
The second floor restoration also expanded the halls and ceilings.
“There’s are still going to be surprises even after you think you’ve done everything,” Rickenbaker said. “We were surprised at how good of condition the building was in, and once we start moving the building around, the building starts getting active with the vibrations and construction.”
The third floor will have one flexible collaboration space and one technical collaboration space on either end of the building, faculty and staff offices, a computer lab, a basic media lab, a media breakout room and a converging media newsroom equipped with the most up to date technology.
“This is the floor that I am most excited about,” said Mary Jean Land, chair of the department of communication. “This space will be for the use of the student media. We have the newsroom for The Colonnade and a production room for the radio station.”
The third floor also includes a balcony. In the past, the balcony access was limited. Now that the floor has been renovated and handrails have been installed, students will be welcome to spend time on the balcony at any time.
The fourth floor has one flexible collaboration space and one technical collaboration space on either end of the building, a classroom, an editing vestibule with three editing suites, administration office, equipment checkout, a green room, a TV studio, a control room, a tech room, faculty and staff offices and an advanced multimedia lab. The fourth floor will also have a newly constructed balcony.
“The idea behind it is that the students will be able to shoot footage for the media outlets with front campus in the background,” Rickenbaker said.
Photos courtesy of GC