Ground Broken for Renovation
Members of the collegeâs Board of Trustees, from left, Albert Bacastow Jr., Lee Gregg Jr., Mark Paton, Donna Avery, Ron Godsey, and LaDonna Lanning, assist Cowley President Dr. Pat McAtee in breaking ground Feb. 24 for a new classroom building on the southeast corner of Third Street and Washington Avenue. The project is expected to begin in late May. Ground also was broken on the renovation of W.S. Scott Auditorium.
A groundbreaking ceremony for two projects that had been on hold for more than a year took place Feb. 24 on Cowley’s main campus. Ground was broken by all six members of Cowley’s Board of Trustees and President Dr. Pat McAtee in front of W.S. Scott Auditorium and at the site of a new classroom building.
Both projects, the renovation of the south lobby of W.S. Scott Auditorium, and the new construction, had been planned nearly two years ago. However, uncertainty in state funding prompted college officials to postpone construction a year. About 50 people turned out as Board members and McAtee turned over shovels of dirt in front of W.S. Scott Auditorium, a building constructed in 1936 as a Public Works Administration project through the federal government, and at the site of the new building on the southeast corner of Third Street and Washington Avenue. “It will be a nice renovation, and also provide handicap accessibility and better offices and meeting rooms,” McAtee said of the W.S. Scott Auditorium project. The $1.2 million project began shortly after March 3, when the last home basketball game occurred. Demolition was expected to take several weeks. The project’s deadline is Aug. 27.
Features of the renovation include enlarged men’s and women’s restrooms, a new ticket booth and concession stand, new trophy cases, a new Tiger Athletic Hall of Fame room, and an elevator that will take patrons to the second floor of the building. Because of the construction on the building, this year’s commencement will take place in two ceremonies inside the Brown Center. Students graduating with associate of arts degrees will participate in a 10 a.m. ceremony May 8, and students graduating with associate of applied science, associate of science, associate of general studies and the college certificate will participate in a 2 p.m. ceremony. Both commencements will be held in the Robert Brown Theatre inside the Brown Center.
The $3.1 million classroom building will house the Business and Service Technology Department and several large classrooms. It is scheduled to be completed in summer 2005. The Daisy E. and Paul H. Brown Charitable Trust made a $350,000 gift toward the building, the largest single gift in the history of the college. “I’d like to thank all of the people who have supported this project,” McAtee said. “We look forward to having the Webb Brown Classroom building.” Two capital campaigns to raise private funds for both projects continue. Persons interested in making a contribution are asked to contact Terri Morrow, dean of development and college relations, at (620) 441-5291.