Library employees have received many questions about future plans for the Ward Edwards building. The information below is the best available as this issue went to press.
A university committee was established in 1996 to determine future use of the Wards Edwards building. Currently, plans are for a complete renovation of the building, with space shared between some university administration functions and the Adrian and Margaret Harmon College of Business Administration. The west side of the building will house "enrollment management" functions such as Registration, Admissions, Financial Aid, Academic Advisement, the Educational Development Center, and Graduate Studies. The east side of the building will contain business classrooms and a large student computer lab. The interior design is expected to be very different from its present layout, but it is expected to retain its exterior shape and familiar limestone walls.
The university reviewed competitive bids and selected the architectural firm Hastings and Chivetta, which was the same firm used for the Kirkpatrick Library. Building plans are still at the programming level. The project is budgeted at nine million dollars, with all funds coming from a state appropriation. These funds have been approved by the governor, but have not been released to the university due to a pending court decision concerning revenue from riverboat casinos and the Hancock Amendment. All plans at this point are strictly tentative until the court decision is made.
The renovation is expected to take 18 months once funding is secured; six months for finalizing architectural plans and 12 months for construction work.