May 7, 2007
Bibb Graves Extreme Makeover
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Bibb Graves Hall, the College of Education’s most notable building, has undergone an $8 million facelift to update the 44,300-square foot, 76-year-old landmark. The building has recently reopened, providing students with a pleasant and beautiful learning environment and the technology needed for maximizing the educational experience.
The building, named after Alabama Governor Bibb Graves, serves as the College of Education’s primary facility. Over 50,000 students have taken classes there - helping prepare them to go from college to professional education.
Preserving the architectural integrity of Graves Hall was an important part of the renovation that began nearly a year ago. Interior alterations were made to maintain and restore elements such as trim, doors and finishes. Graves Hall still has the notable features, such as the marble staircase, ironwork handrails, chandelier and European ceiling design, in the building—they have been cleaned and restored. All new materials including tile carpet and drywall were matched to period to keep the building looking the way it did when it opened in 1928.
Other steps of the renovation included redefining the interior spaces to improve functionality, making the building more handicap-accessible and removing and replacing all existing electronic systems within the building. All classrooms now have an LCD projector along with laptop capabilities, wireless internet, a thermostat and new windows and desks. New facilities include two conference rooms, counselor education labs and mail and copy rooms, as well as four computer labs and 48 graduate workstations.
The renovation of Graves Hall was part of University of Alabama President Robert E. Witt's plan to update all buildings on campus that are currently not up to code. Lloyd Hall is the next building scheduled for renovations.