Ennis Hall has undergone a 2 ½ year transformation from the remnants of a 1920s women’s dormitory to a highly interactive, useable space that will be the home to the Georgia College Department of Art.
“This is a very exciting time for our department. Our environment affects our identities, and this move brings us physically closer to campus as we bring the university closer to us,” said Bill Fisher, chair of the Department of Art. “We look forward to using Ennis as not only a resource for our students, but also for the community as a whole, as we continue to provide art exhibits and showcase our student work and the works of others in this new space.”
With the completion of Ennis Hall, Georgia College continues to move forward in its goal of preserving the past, while bringing campus buildings into the modern world of academia.
“Because we are Georgia College, having these historical buildings throughout our campus is something we should celebrate,” said Michael Rickenbaker, university architect and director of Facilities Planning. “We could do what other schools do and rebuild or gut the building, but what we chose to do is something that was compassionate and recognized its historical past.”
Ennis Hall underwent an architectural process known as adaptive reuse, which is the act of using an older building for a purpose for which it wasn’t initially intended.
Many structures on campus including Terrell Hall, constructed in 1908 as a residence hall, have undergone adaptive reuse, turning campus buildings into useable office and educational spaces.
Georgia College held a grand reopening celebration of Ennis Hall Thursday, June 12. The ribbon-cutting ceremony took place and tours followed throughout the afternoon.
The restoration was planned by Lord Aeck Sargent (LAS) architects, and the building was renovated by the construction manager Garbutt/Christman.
The university and Board of Regents provided initial funding for design before receiving appropriations in 2012 and 2013. Official funding from the state Legislature came in two parts, with the first construction funding in May 2012, and furniture, fixtures and equipment funding in 2013.