TROY—Troy University on Saturday officially broke ground on the first major renovation of historic Bibb Graves Hall in more than 30 years.
The renovation will add more than 40,000 square feet to the building. The expanded space will include additional classrooms with upgraded technology, computer labs, large, open student lounge areas and an auditorium with more than 250 seats.
The renovation will also include a new wing along the back of the building that will house the University’s Center for International Business and Economic Development (CIBED) and the Confucius Institute.
TROY Chancellor Jack Hawkins, Jr. called Bibb Graves Hall TROY’s signature building and one of the University’s most enduring symbols.
“Bibb Graves Hall is symbolic of our vision for Troy University—a reverence for our rich history even during an era of change,” Dr. Hawkins said. “Bibb Graves Hall is a place where the traditional and the transformational will intersect. It will house our College of Business, which has produced outstanding graduates for more than 50 years. It will also house two of our more innovative initiatives, the Confucius Institute and the CIBED.”
The renovation was funded in part by $8 million in bond money secured by Gov. Bob Riley, Dr. Hawkins said. He also thanked the numerous private donors who contributed to the project.
The ceremony included remarks from Neal Wade, Director of the Alabama Development Office, who said the CIBED would make important contributions to economic development in Alabama.
“I think this center is going to do a great job of introducing Alabama’s economy to countries we need to do business in,” Wade said. “It will also lead the way in training the next generation of economic developers for this state.”
Dr. Yan Guohua, Director and Consul of Education at the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Houston, Texas, said TROY’s Confucius Institute—the only one in Alabama—will provide new opportunities to study Chinese language and Culture.
Also speaking at the event were Dr. John Schmidt, Senior Vice Chancellor for Advancement and External Relations, and Kaye Sheridan, interim dean of the Sorrell College of Business.
Bibb Graves Hall was built in 1929 as the centerpiece of the Troy Campus.