Feature Story

Everything Old is New Again

September 11, 2014 – by Sara Jane Sheehan ’15

A newly renovated Elliott Hall features more classroom space with additional technology. The building required work following interior flooding caused by a frozen water pipe during January’s ‘polar vortex.’ (Photo by Paul Vernon)

A newly renovated Elliott Hall features more classroom space with additional technology. The building required work following interior flooding caused by a frozen water pipe during January’s ‘polar vortex.’ (Photo by Paul Vernon)

The oldest building on Ohio Wesleyan University’s campus now boasts some of the newest, most modern classrooms and faculty offices.

Elliott Hall, built in 1833, reopened in August following a nearly eight-month renovation that added air-conditioning, new classroom technology, and more. The construction was necessary after January’s record-low temperatures froze and broke a water line feeding into Elliott’s sprinkler system, flooding much of the building.

“It’s opened up more classroom opportunities for us in the building,” said Paul Dean, assistant professor of sociology/anthropology, making it more convenient for students to meet.

Dean also appreciates that new doors lead directly into the basement, making the building more accessible. And there’s another improvement for which he is especially thankful.

“I love that the floors are more level,” Dean added.

Most of the renovation work was funded by insurance, but Ohio Wesleyan also used a $1.1 million gift from the estate of alumnus Emerson Dean Ashley ’23, to upgrade technology, improve heating and cooling, and more.

Ted Cohen, professor of sociology-anthropology, said he also is happy to have more, and more modern, classrooms in the 181-year-old building.

“That has me very hopeful because I think we got four or five new classrooms,” Cohen said.

To create the new academic space, the Office of University Communications was relocated to 4 Williams Drive.

Senior Abby Bennett ’15, who has two classes in Elliott this semester, said the building additions are a welcomed change.

“The new renovations are an improvement compared to other old buildings on campus,” Bennett said.

Elliott Hall is home to the departments of history, politics and government, and sociology/anthropology. It also houses the extensive archives of The Historian, a quarterly journal published by the Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society.