TROY – Troy University today turned the first earth for its new Jack Hawkins Jr. College of Education Building.
The $13.6 million project marks the second academic building the University’s built on its Troy Campus in two years.
Named in honor of the University’s chancellor, the Jack Hawkins Jr. College of Education Building will be a five-story, 90,800 square-foot building that will include 12 classrooms, five laboratories, three conference rooms, a workroom and a theatre-style auditorium that will seat 140 students. Space for expansion will be available in the building’s attic and basement.
Chancellor Hawkins said he is “honored and humbled” by the Board of Trustees’ decision to name the building in his honor. He thanked the faculty and staff for their support of his administration.
“This building may have my name on it, but the true honor goes to all of you who have worked so hard to make this university the best it can be,” he said.
Some 50 faculty and staff offices and two flexible workspace areas are included in the design allowing College of Education faculty to be housed under one roof. Currently, education faculty members are housed in McCartha Hall, McCall Hall, the General Academic Building and Mitchell Hall.
“This new building is going to provide for the College of Education a new dawn of what we do in terms of servicing students and faculty on the Troy Campus,” said Dr. Lance Tatum, dean of the College of Education.
Dr. Tatum said that bringing all faculty members under one roof would improve efficiency and give students an easier time communicating with their professors.
“All the chairs of the departments that are housed within the college of education are going to be within the same floor which means students can literally talk to faculty in one department and, instead of having to walk to a building that is across campus, can literally walk across the hall to talk to other faculty about scheduling issues,” he said.
The project is designed by Seay, Seay & Litchfield architects of Montgomery. The building’s general contractor is Whaley Construction Co., Inc., of Troy.
Participating in the ground breaking ceremony, led by Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Dr. Ed Roach, were Dr. Doug Hawkins, president pro-tem of the University’s board of trustees, Dr. Joe Morton, state superintendent of education and an ex-officio member of the board of trustees, Dr. Tatum, Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford and Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr. Dr. James Kimbrough, a former dean of the College of Education, opened the ceremony with an invocation.
In 2005, the University built the three-story, 42,000 square-foot General Academic Building that contained four multi-purpose theater-style classrooms and 13 60-student classrooms in addition to faculty offices and a conference room. The University earlier this month dedicated a four-building residence living facility and a new college bookstore.