Warning: construction zone

Morgan Hall will become Washburn’s new welcome center and will allow students to register for classes, meet with advisors, apply for admission, learn about scholarships and even pay their tuition.

Colton Goeffert, [email protected], is a junior associate of science major.

Students returning this semester have no doubt noticed the loud noises and chain-link fence that now surrounds Morgan Hall. The reason for this is undoubtedly clear, as Morgan Hall is currently under construction. 

Morgan Hall will become Washburn’s new welcome center and will allow students to register for classes, meet with advisors, apply for admission, learn about scholarships and even pay their tuition.

According to Steve Kesl, the superintendent of the construction site, McPherson Contractors Inc. will be doing the actual work, which has been split into four phases: Phase 1A, Phase 1B, Phase 2 and Phase 3. Phase 1A and 1B began at the start of the year.  

“Phase 1A and 1B are an interior remodel of the southeast wing area of the building,” said Kesl. Phase 2 will be the demolition of the northwest corner of Morgan Hall to make way for a new plaza and entrance area of the Welcome Center. This demolition will be handled by McPherson Wrecking Inc., and will begin over spring break. Finally, Phase 3 is the remodeling of the existing southwest wing. 

“The project schedule lasts 18 months and started Jan. 1,” said Kesl, which means that the project will be completed in June of 2015.

Kesl also stressed that students should not use the Morgan Hall exit facing 17th Street, as that area is part of a construction zone. 

“At no time should anyone ever enter the construction area that is quite clearly defined by a chain-link fence, nor should they ever enter the staging area at the north side of the building,” said Kesl.

According to Nelda Gaito, Washburn’s university architect, the company designated to design and oversee the construction of the welcome center is Peckham Guyton Albers & Viets, Inc.

“Students can keep track of the construction at washburn.edu/construction, which is updated through University Relations,” said Gaito.

Unfortunately, the construction isn’t without its drawbacks, as many classes that would otherwise take place in Morgan Hall have had to relocate in different buildings across campus. 

It’s not just classes that have evacuated Morgan, either. Many of the offices that would otherwise be in Morgan Hall have relocated as well.  

There are a few exceptions though, as Carly Willis, a junior mass media major and student worker in the Student Life office, is still working in Morgan in the office’s original location and has had a rough couple of weeks. 

“Some days it’s just really dusty and I sneeze a lot. Other days it’s just really loud,” said Willis. “I think the loud work environment and stuffy work environment will be worth it in the end for the new welcome center.”.

Students looking to keep abreast of the developments in the welcome center construction can visit the previously mentioned washburn.edu/construction, which will soon host a live feed from a construction camera that is to be mounted on the roof of White Concert Hall.