Tag: Merrill Hall

From West Virginia to Alabama: McClung’s journey to, ideas for deanship

Bonae Barrs, Correspondent

Dr. Steven McClung grew up in West Virginia, in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains. Now, as the newly hired Dean of the School of Business and Industry at Jacksonville State University, he is preparing to settle in at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.

Continue reading “From West Virginia to Alabama: McClung’s journey to, ideas for deanship”

Petition to ‘fix the old buildings first’ receives over 1,600 signatures in four days

Ashleigh Crouch, News Correspondent

A petition for Jacksonville State University to ‘fix the old buildings first’ has gained over 1,600 signatures in just four days.

Continue reading “Petition to ‘fix the old buildings first’ receives over 1,600 signatures in four days”

Demolition begins at Merrill Hall

By Tiffany Lang

News Correspondent

Demolition of Jacksonville State University’s Merrill Hall officially began Monday, July 29 at 10 a.m. following a brief ceremony where faculty, staff, alumni and students gathered in front of the nearly 50-year old facility to say goodbye.

The ceremony offered attendees a brief history of Merrill Hall, which was constructed in 1970, and offered a glimpse into the future of the new School of Business and Industry building, which is set to be completed by 2021.

JSU President Dr. John Beehler, who opened the ceremony, referred to the demolition as a bittersweet moment. 

“While we are sad to lose this university landmark, it’s a relief to move forward from one of the most visible reminders of the March 2018 disaster,” said Beehler.

The “March 2018 disaster” Beehler referred to was an EF-3 tornado that damaged almost two-thirds of the facilities on campus, including Merrill Hall and the surrounding community, on March 19, 2018.

After the building sustained heavy damage, the School of Business and Industry moved into the old Kitty Stone Elementary School. The old school building was named the School of Business and Industry Complex. 

SGA President Ulises Herrera, a marketing major who closed the ceremony, fondly remembered the facility as it was, saying he recalled the days when students “would walk through the atrium looking at the colorful tickers keeping up with the markets all around.”

Herrera said he can only imagine the connection that the alumni, students, faculty and staff feel toward Merrill Hall and that he believes these connections will always be cherished.

Merrill Hall was constructed in 1970 for $2 million and was named in honor of Rep. Hugh D. Merrill of Anniston, who was instrumental in helping change JSU from a teacher’s college to a state college.

The JSU Board of Trustees approved a plan on July 16 to build a new 108,151 square-foot facility for the School of Business and Industry. The facility is set to cost $50 million to construct.

After factoring in assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and later insurance settlements, JSU is only expected to foot $10 million for costs associated with the new School of Business and Industry facility.

Demolition is projected to be complete in just a few months and according to a statement on the JSU website, it is estimated that the new facility will open in January 2021, but an exact date has not been given yet.


**Photo courtesy of JSU**

JSU remodels biology classroom with REAL grant

Brittany RobertsonStaff Writer

Over the summer, Jacksonville State University’s Martin Hall received an extreme makeover that has everyone talking.

Dr. Chris Murdock of the Biology department applied for the REAL Classroom Design Initiative this past summer in hopes of receiving funds to benefit the department. The grant helped to outfit classroom 250 with new paint, new carpet, new desks and updated technology. This grant came from the Faculty Commons Department and has gone to benefit the School of Science.

“They came in and prepped the walls, painted, put new lights in,” Murdock said. “There was not any structural damage, but it still took several months to complete the remodel. All of the old infrastructure was taken out—they took all the old desks out and everything. We really just started with a blank slate.”

Room 250 in Martin Hall was remodeled this summer. (photo by Hollie Ivey/The Chanticleer)

With new desks and new technology, the biology classroom is able to incorporate elements of interactivity that is not seen in any other academic building on campus. The rolling desks allow for students to easily transition from rows of students to small or large groups. The newly installed projectors can either project onto whiteboards or serve as interactive smart boards. The technology was not part of the grant but instead came from funds generated by the student technology fee.

“The technology was supplied to us by the IT Department,” Murdock said. “I think it’s important to let students know that this is where your technology fee goes. The nice thing about the projector [in the renovated room] is that it projects on a whiteboard. So, if we have any faculty members that do not want use the smart board, and they just want to use the whiteboard, they can turn the projector off and you can write on the board.”

Murdock said he has heard only positive feedback from students.

“The new room is pretty cool. I actually look forward to going to class,” senior Carter Robertson said.

Martin Hall was not the only building with renovated rooms. Merrill Hall recently renovated their Finance Lab and fourteen classrooms that are used by various professors in the back of Merrill. Each room has a different colored back wall, matching rolling chairs, tables and carpeting.

See the remodeling in Merrill Hall below! Photos by Hollie Ivey

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