Harrill Hall to be taken offline for renovations

Next summer Harrill Hall will undergo an extreme makeover that will include a new look and several “green” features.

Western Carolina’s Department of Facilities Planning Design and Construction has decided to renovate Harrill Hall in a process that will take about 15 months to complete and will begin around March or April of 2011. The inside renovations will include an air conditioning unit and updated bathrooms. More common rooms will also be added in order to give students more places to socialize and relax and a 100-person meeting room will be constructed as well.

Many new “green” features will be added to Harrill Hall as the construction begins. Some water from the dorm will be reused for irrigation and a new water source heat pump will be constructed underneath the parking lot on the south side of the dorm. Solar panels will also be used to generate electricity.

University Architect Galen May said the new dorm will allow students to be high energy conscious. An energy monitor will be added to each floor or each pair of floors that will allow students to monitor the energy consumption. A dashboard will also be in the lobby for all the residents to view the energy consumption throughout the entire dorm. The goal is to make residents aware of how much energy is being used and how much of that energy can be saved.

Unlike the many construction sites on campus, renovations to Harrill Hall will most likely not affect students’ walking or driving routes. The student housing on campus will also not be affected. With the addition of Balsam and Blue Ridge Hall, there will be dorms to accommodate WCU students who would have chosen to stay in Harrill Hall.

Harrill Hall has been a home to Western Carolina students since it was constructed in 1971. After receiving a new look and improved features, Harrill Hall will again be a home to future students.