Taylor Hall’s Transformation
June 16, 2011 (by Alli Knaus, "Gunnison Country Times") -- Construction is mostly complete on the $21 million face-lift to Taylor Hall, the original building on the Western State College (WSC) campus.
The south side of the renovated Taylor Hall features a "Welcome Center" for prospective students, alumni and other visitors.
Faculty and staff will spend the rest of the summer moving into the facility, which will be fully operational when students return to campus this fall — and just in time for the 100th anniversary of the first classes held at the college.
The renovation brings technological advances and some dramatic new looks, while preserving Taylor Hall’s original architectural flare.
One of the most notable differences is the new south entrance, featuring a visible welcome center for prospective students and their families.
“The new entrance will be a lot more appealing to visitors and create a more inviting atmosphere,” said Julie Feier, WSC’s associate vice president for finance and administration.
Another visible change includes the color coordination throughout the three floors, which is also meant to create a greater ease of navigation. Each color scheme is consistent with an earth trend.
The first floor sports neutral, earthy tones, representing rocks and the ground; the second floor has the green colors of grass; and the third floor has shades of blue for the sky. So explained Jeff Overman, who is overseeing the Taylor Hall renovation for Nunn Construction.
On June 10, campus administrators and college trustees toured the newly upgraded Taylor Hall and for many it was their first look.
“I was incredibly impressed by the remodel,” said trustee Noelle Hagan. “Anyone who had been in the old building will be blown away by the transformation.”
Not only will the new Taylor Hall be an attractive site for visitors, but students have plenty of changes to appreciate as well.
On the second floor, significant improvements have been made to the campus radio station (KWSB), with sound-proof walls and a TV/sound stage. There are also classrooms for the theater program complete with rubber floors for performances.
“You can dive off a chair and onto the rubber floor and still be okay,” Feier quipped.
Other design elements aim to increase student study and work space with new technological advancements, including projector screens for group projects.
“Students should be able to utilize the space much more than the older Taylor Hall,” Feier said.
While many parts of Taylor Hall were completely renovated, Overman said some areas were preserved to maintain the historic look of the building.
The exterior of the north side of the building remains the same, preserving the tall columns and balconies. Also, skylights on the second floor, which had over time been covered up, have been restored.
“I like the idea of preserving parts of the building while renovating it,” said trustee Linda Clark. “I can’t wait to see it when it’s occupied with students.”
Faculty and administrators who were relocated during the remodel process will soon begin to move into the new Taylor Hall.