By Walker Polivka, Contributing Writer
For the first time since the 2015-2016 school year, Shotwell Hall will be utilized again on campus. Starting this semester, the International Office and the study abroad program will be housed on the first floor.
Shotwell had to undergo a major renovation during the summer in order get itself ready for the new school year. New carpeting was laid down; the walls were painted; internet connections were put in; a small kitchen was built; and the restroom was upgraded to become ADA compliant. These renovations helped Shotwell to become a central and integral part of the campus community again.
West Liberty University President Stephen Greiner is pleased to see Shotwell Hall being utilized again and realizes that this project has been in the cards for a long time. He said, “When I arrived on campus in January 2016, historic Shotwell Hall was in the process of relocating faculty and staff to other locations on campus. I was asked at that time if I intended to demolish Shotwell Hall. My immediate response was that I had no intention of doing so. Although the building needed extensive repair and renovation, the structure itself was sound. Since it is an historic dormitory designed by noted Wheeling architect Frederick F. Faris and built as a Public Works Administration project in 1937 and named for Nathan Shotwell, the first president of West Liberty Academy from 1838 to 1854, I’m pleased to have it back in use.”
A concern that arose from several faculty members and students alike was that Haunted Halls was previously held in Shotwell Hall. Now that the building is filled with offices, the future of Haunted Halls may be in jeopardy. Kate Billings, Director Of Student Activities, is hopeful that a resolution will be agreed upon during the next few weeks.
Billings said, “The Housing Staff will assess the situation and see what options there may be. They will see if there is a chance of use of the second and third floor of Shotwell for Haunted Halls. But they will look at other options on campus. If there is no building available, they may look at ‘different’ Halloween options. In the next month, they are going to have those conversations and determine whether or not it will continue.”
The old international office will continue to be used too. The Counseling Center will now take over the old space. Dr. Greiner feels that this is a better fit for all the parties involved.
Greiner said, “With the rapid expansion of international programs and services, the first floor of Shotwell made sense as an area to house the international programs and study abroad offices as well as to make room for a future English Language Center. The move enabled us to have more suitable, private space for the Counseling Center, which will be located on the second floor of the College Union in the old International Office.”
The International Office and Study Abroad offices have become the first organizations to move into the remodeled Shotwell, currently being housed on the first floor of the building. The other floors of the building are still open and will soon house more organizations in the future.
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