Wednesday, July 13, 2011

New Interior for Art Students!

I am excited to see new construction taking place on the Vol State campus.  Last semester, I decided to explore my creative side, and I signed up for my first art classes.  On the first day, I drove out to the back of the campus and found the Fine Arts building, which looked like a thirty-year-old maintenance building.  Once inside, I was a little apprehensive, stained ceilings, poor lighting, broken desks did not seem to be the best environment to develop my creativity.  Though these poor conditions did not prevent my instructors from giving me quality guidance and direction, I am sure they will be able to take their skills to an even higher level with an all new interior for the building.

I stopped in to see Glenn Riggs who is the assistant director for Plant Operations to see how this construction came about.  He said this was just the beginning of a new initiative to assess the best way to keep buildings up to current standards. 

We are doing a total renovation” Riggs said.  “We have completely gutted the art building and started fresh.  Even though the outside is original, it is all new on the inside.  We can now concentrate on preventative maintenance and hope to prolong the life of each building.  We have been able to use internal help and involve almost all Plant Operations people.  We have used our guys for HVAC, our own electricians and carpenters. We even installed the fire alarm system and used our own IT people.  Pretty much the only thing we have not done is the flooring and the painting.” 

Claire Hampton has been involved with the art program for thirty years.  Her eyes sparkled with excitement talking about all the work going on.  “When I first started working, we had no dropped ceilings, there was no air conditioner and the space heaters were hanging down out of the ceiling,” said Hampton.  “There was one bathroom so you had to knock before going in.  Then they came along and added a bathroom and dropped in heat and air. Since then, there have not been any renovations in the building other than rearranging the space.  That has been at least 25 years ago, but the building has worked well for us with the concrete floors and such, because we do tend to make a mess.”
Art instructor Sue Mulcahy was happy to hear about the remodel.  “We were due for a change,” said Mulcahy.  “This was not just cosmetic but some of this was for safety.  We now have better ventilation and we won’t have all the cords on the floor.  The fluorescent lighting was uneven and flickered. This was tiring on the eyes, especially for the teachers who are there all day long.  I'm glad we have new lights and I am looking forward to a cleaner, safer building.  I hope it will encourage students to take more art classes.”
Come out this fall to see the finished building.  Maybe you will be the next Leonardo DaVinci!

Volunteer State Community College

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