Tentative plans to demolish the ‘eyesore of Eliot Hall’ unofficially unveiled
Washington University has not officially announced the changes, but many students claim to be aware of them.
The renderings by Mackey Mitchell Architects detail tentative plans for a partial demolition of McMillan Hall and a full demolition of Eliot Hall to create room for Olin’s new “Throop Building.”
Members of Facilities Planning & Management were reviewing schematic designs at a meeting Wednesday night, Project Manager Frank Freeman said.
University officials stressed that the plans are not yet complete, though they are fairly well developed.
“It wasn’t a secret, but we weren’t quite ready to announce,” said Steve Givens, associate vice chancellor for Public Affairs. “Basically, until the Board of Trustees makes a final decision and approves the whole project, we just don’t talk about what might be. Yes, there’s plans for a new building and there’s a formal process going on right now, but generally we don’t talk about that process until it’s finalized.”
Givens said that the business school has been looking to expand its square-footage for a long time.
“It’s part of the business school’s longer-range strategic plan to add a needed facility,” Givens said. “It’s a school that’s experienced a lot of growth in students and programs since Simon Hall was finished, and they’re just looking for more space so they can deliver those programs to their student body in a better way.”
Some students are heavily in favor of the construction plan.
“It’s wonderful that Olin is expanding on campus and tearing down the ugly eyesore of Eliot Hall,” senior Daniel Bernard said. “It’s the worst-kept secret.”
Although an announcement hasn’t been made, many business school students said they have heard about the construction plans.
“Rumors started last fall…people I’ve talked to about this are mostly upperclassmen, professors, faculty members and students that are employed in the business school,” junior Cassie Rowland said. “We are kind of outgrowing this space, having more space will allow professors to have classes at better times.”
Other students noted that while the school could definitely use more space, the tentative location is not optimal.
“We definitely need more space, teachers are on top of each other for office hours,” sophomore Imani McKenzie said. “I think it sounds good in theory, first of all because Eliot’s a really ugly building, but it’d be really nice if it was next to where the B-school is now, and it loses the exclusivity of the B-school. But we definitely need more space.”
Several upperclassmen said that numerous deans in the business school have said the plans are only awaiting an official sign-off from the board of trustees, and that the University is hoping to break ground in January.
None of the business school deans could be reached for contact.
Members of the Department of Anthropology, which would be required to relocate many of its classes according to current renderings, echoed that the plans have not been confirmed, and said the images were posted for faculty to see what the changes may look like.
Mackey Mitchell Architects have a history of working for the University, recently designing the South Forty House, College Hall and Umrath Hall.
Officials from the Olin Business School were not available for comment.