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Wofford College’s Main Building to undergo renovation

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – When fall semester final exams are completed on Friday, Dec. 17, and the Christmas break begins, renovations will start on Main Building on Wofford College’s campus. The project, to be done in two phases, is expected to be completed in about 15 months – in time for spring semester of 2006.

Architects, engineers, electricians and carpenters will begin completely renovating the interior of “Old Main,” preserving the building’s historic architecture and design while incorporating the latest teaching and computer technology.

Phase one of the project, which should be complete by the end of the summer, focuses on Leonard Auditorium and the building’s west wing. In phase two, the emphasis shifts to the east wing. After the completion of both phases, in time for spring semester 2006, Main Building will be completely accessible to individuals with limited mobility.

“With Leonard Auditorium being involved in the first phase of renovation, it will not be available for convocations, performances and other events generally open to the public,” says Dr. David Wood, senior vice president. “Such events, along with our 2005 baccalaureate and commencement exercises, will be held on the lawn between Main Building and the Roger Milliken Science Center, with Benjamin Johnson Arena serving as the rain plan. Once the project is completed, Main Building and Leonard Auditorium will be showcases that reflect the rich history and foundation on which the college was built.”

During the renovation and restoration, faculty offices will be moved to the Black Science Annex, and classes once taught in Main Building will be scheduled in other classroom areas, such as the Olin Building, Milliken Science Center or Daniel Building. Class schedules will be altered to accommodate classes earlier in the morning and later in the afternoon to avoid overlapping classes.

The college continues to raise the $6 million needed to complete the interior restoration and renovation of Main Building. An additional $1 million will be raised to establish an endowment fund for “Old Main’s” continued preservation and maintenance. According to Senior Vice President for Development and College Relations Marion Peavey, the college already has raised more than $4.3 million toward the goal. “We’ve received literally hundreds of gifts for the project, ranging from a few dollars to the largest — $1.4 million from the Watson-Brown Foundation. We are confident that with the help of alumni, parents and other friends of the college, the remaining funds will be raised,” says Peavey.

Peavey commends several groups for rallying to “Save Old Main.” For example, the Class of 2004 donated their senior gift ($4,200) to the “Old Main” renovation project. The Class of 2005 is considering a similar gift. The anonymous donor who pledged $250,000 for the project if the college could raise $750,000 is another example. According to Peavey, the college just surpassed the anonymous donor’s challenge by raising $930,100.

Wofford Trustees Tommy Brittain and John White looked within their profession for donors to the project. Brittain and White are leading the $2 million Justice Hall initiative by contacting law firms and attorneys asking them to contribute to the renovation of Main Building in honor of the contributions of Wofford graduates in the judiciary. Through a Wofford and the Law Continuing Legal Education Seminar and other gifts, the Justice Hall initiative has raised $490,000 in support of the Main Building project.

To make a gift to the “Old Main” restoration and renovation project, please contact the Wofford College Development Office at (864) 597-4200. Naming opportunities are still available in a variety of locations and amounts.