Goodbye, Kell Hall: Georgia State plans demolition for new project

Photo by Vanessa Johnson | The Signal

Georgia State has gotten approval from the University System of Georgia (USG) Board of Regents (BOR) to start the four-phase plan to demolish Kell Hall and design a new quad called “The Greenway,” which will redesign the plaza area in front of Library North entrance.

The “Greenway” project is estimated to cost the university $20 million, according to Russell Seagren, the director of Facilities Planning.

Seagren said the first phase is to “demolish Kell Hall and fix the utilities connecting Kell to the Arts and Humanities building and Langdale Hall.” The next three phases will be to remodel the front of Library North, remodel the outside of Langdale Hall, and add the additions to Arts and Humanities and Sparks Hall. These additions include an outside balcony area, green space, and elevators.

In October 2013, Georgia State University President Mark Becker announced the plan to demolish Kell Hall to create a green space for students where the plaza currently is.

The post office has already been moved to T Deck and “our goal is to empty the building completely by October of 2018,” said Abdul Momen, director of Maintenance and Operations.

Classes after spring 2018 in Kell Hall will no longer be held in that building.

“The classrooms and geoscience labs located in Kell Hall are currently being relocated to Sparks Hall, and the Sports Arena and offices are being moved to the 7th floor of Langdale Hall,” Momen said.

The demolition process is estimated to start in December 2018, which will remove all the pipes and fix utility issues connecting the buildings adjacent to Kell Hall. The pipes currently there will be moved underground, and the pipes supporting the buildings next to Kell Hall will be properly relocated for the full demolition.

The “Greenway” will be an open area for clubs and student activities to utilize; however, this will not be a “free speech zone” designated by the school. This area will not be used by non-student organizations for whatever reasons, according to Seagren.

Questions as to what this new “Greenway” entails regarding tables, trees, and sitting space is yet to be determined until the design is completed and more funding is acquired from the Georgia Board of Regents.

The plan for renovation was requested from the BOR back in 2016, but was just accepted this summer.

Construction will also depend on how long Courtland Bridge — set for demolition and recreation next year — will take.

“The demolition of the bridge and Kell Hall will have a dramatic impact on how people get around, but the construction of the new bridge will be safer and more attractive,” Dr. Douglas Covey, Sr. Vice President of Student Affairs, said.

These phases are part of Georgia State’s “masterplan,” according to Covey, and will help “create an articulating spine through the center of the campus.”

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