South Georgia State College (SGSC) was awarded Excellence in Rehabilitation for the 2017 renovation of Davis Hall on the Douglas campus at the 41st annual Georgia Trust and Historic Preservation Awards ceremony April 27 in Columbus, Ga. Ms. Walda Kight, vice president for external affairs accepted the award on behalf of the college. “At SGSC, we are fortunate the original leaders of the College had the vision to develop such a beautiful and stately campus. As such, I was delighted to attend the Georgia Trust event and accept the award on behalf of all of our employees who strive to preserve our campus’ heritage and ensure it will continue to serve future generations of students,” states Ms. Kight.
“As a legacy building built in 1907, we knew Davis Hall needed major renovations to have a structure with increased energy efficiency, technology and function. The thing we did not want to do was change its historical significance in the process,” Daniel Warren, director of facilities for SGSC, says. “We were intentional about keeping as much of the original look as we could. During the demolition process, we found the paint color that was used when Davis was first built. We replicated it and incorporated it as accents around the building. We restored wooden floors and banisters and returned ceilings to their original height to retain its interior look and feel.”
According to the Georgia Trust, this award recognizes projects that make compatible use of a building through repair, alterations or additions while preserving features of the property that convey its historic value.
“We also found the original portico windows and had them refurbished. They are now a part of the entire restored portico on the front of the building,” Warren says. “The windows in the entire building are all replicas that closely resemble the look of the original structure. We referred back to the college’s collection of photographs from the past to be as accurate as possible.”
Davis Hall served as a girls’ dormitory for many years but after a major renovation in the 1970’s, it was converted to classroom and office space. The current renovation brings a variety of technology and layout changes to the space, which now offers enhanced teaching and learning experiences for SGSC students. A new lecture hall accommodates more than 150 students using state-of-the-art technology as a Technology Enable Active Learning (TEAL) classroom and students will not have to go far to speak with faculty and staff who are now housed in 12 office spaces within the building.
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