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You’ve said farewell to Kell ­— here’s what’s next

Kell Hall’s demolition is finally complete and Georgia State can expect change to campus this semester. Photo by Matt Siciliano-Salazar | The Signal

As the first semester wraps up, students and faculty alike can reminisce about the days of crowded corridors between classes and sounds of construction as one of the campus’s most iconic buildings ended its time at Georgia State. With blue curtains hiding what little remains of Kell Hall, students and those with their eyes on the project cannot help but wonder when the construction process will finally end.

In May 2019, Vice President of the Facilities Management Services Division Ramesh Vakamudi estimated the completion date was January 2020 after the originally budgeted $5 million project doubled to almost $10 million.

Now, Vakamudi says that the Kell Hall and plaza demolition is complete and the contractor is moving onto the next steps: on-site grading, installation of underground utilities and facade improvements for three buildings — Langdale Hall, the Arts and Humanities building and Sparks Hall.

The project plans to use the area previously occupied by Kell Hall as well as the now flattened portion of Library Plaza for the planned greenway, with the construction of a stairway entrance to Library North as the next project in line.

Senior Director of the Facilities Design and Construction Services Kimberly Bauer told The Signal in September that the project would be completed in March, instead of the January completion date given late last spring. 

Now, she says the completion of the greenway project should be in April 2020 if the weather permits.

This additional one month delay is claimed to be due to unforeseen conditions with the exterior surface not being smooth enough in the Arts and Humanities building. The second phase of the project, the new stairway into the library, is still planned to begin shortly afterward.

But as students return for the spring semester, they cannot say goodbye to the blue curtains just yet. According to Bauer, half of the area is still closed off to the public. 

This means those shrieking bulldozers are still going to stick around. But the area that was closed during the demolition period will not be open.

As exciting as the project is to many students, it is no surprise that the demolition has been rather strenuous to all of those traversing the campus. Students around Langdale and Urban Life area may have grown weary of the noisy bulldozers and other construction equipment outside their windows. 

Though the construction period is far from over, students can finally say goodbye to Kell Hall. Though some are disappointed at the demise of one of the university’s oldest buildings, many are excited to see what the new face of Georgia State can offer to its students. 

“This has been one of the most complex projects that the university has undertaken,” Bauer said. “Once it and the new Library North addition are complete, the students, faculty and staff can enjoy an exciting green space that becomes the heart of campus.”

Those blue curtains may look hideous right now, but when they finally down, Georgia State will have a whole new look.