By DANIEL PINEDA
Amarillo College’s Washington Street Campus will begin to see some changes in its department locations over the summer.
The art department will move from Russell Hall to the basement of the College Union Building, resulting in the temporary relocation of the student life department.
Danny Smith, the master plan program manager, said that construction and renovations on Russell Hall will begin soon.
“Student life was scheduled to move into Russell Hall. That changed and student services is going to move into Russell Hall, so we can provide a ‘front door’ for them. A lot of the people going to student services are going there for their first time to enroll or other various first-time events and we hope this will make that experience much easier for them,” Smith said.
Smith also added that the goal is to have all art faculty moved over to the CUB by August, so that they can start teaching classes for the fall semester. Construction on Russell Hall is expected to begin in the fall with an estimated construction length of 12 months and moving in student services in the fall of 2022.
Stephanie Jung, an instructor of visual arts, said she is both sad about the move and excited for what’s to come.
“A few weeks ago, a former student dropped by and we sat together in our current painting studio and reminisced about all the great times we had in that room. My best teaching experiences so far happened in that room, so it’s hard to let it go,” Jung said.
However, Jung said she is pleased with the new plan and hopes that the new location attracts more attention to the program.
“The new design will include four studios and excavating a kiln yard for ceramics at the basement level, which will border 24th Street, so it will change the look of the CUB a lot,” Jung said.
In addition, student life has had to temporarily move out of the CUB and into the fourth floor of the R.E. Byrd Business Building, until their final relocation in the current Student Services Center.
Amber Hamilton, director of student life, said that despite the relocation, the move hasn’t affected student life as much due to many events being virtual and students not on campus.
“We won’t see what that would look like until the fall when students are back and we’re back in full swing. I think with this space we got we’re going to be able to make it work, and still operate and execute all of our programs and our events and I think we’re going to see some positive changes this coming year,” Hamilton said.
After student services move into Russell Hall, construction of the new student life will begin in the old student services building around the late fall of 2022 and is expected to be completed in the fall of 2023 or early 2024.