Iowa State University
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News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

4-17-07

Contacts:

Kerry Dixon-Fox, Facilities Planning & Management, (515) 294-8028, kdixon@iastate.edu

Lynette Pohlman, University Museums, (515) 294-3342, lpohlma@iastate.edu

Corly Brooke, Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, (515) 294-2402, cbrooke@iastate.edu

Susan Torntore, Textiles & Clothing, (515) 294-3826, sjtornt@iastate.edu

Ann Wilson, ISU Foundation, (515) 294-9608, afwilson@iastate.edu

Annette Hacker, News Service, (515) 294-3720, annette@iastate.edu

Morrill Hall

Photo by Bob Elbert.

ISU's Morrill Hall to be rededicated April 20

AMES, Iowa -- Even better than the original.

That's how Kerry Dixon-Fox describes the newly renovated Morrill Hall, which will be rededicated on Friday, April 20, at 11 a.m.

The ceremony will be held on central campus, just across the street from Morrill. Tours of the iconic building will immediately follow a brief program.

"Morrill Hall is one of Iowa State's most important symbols and landmarks, and it is wonderful that we have been able to restore it, thanks to contributions from literally thousands of alumni, friends and students," Iowa State University President Gregory Geoffroy said. "All Iowans should be very proud of the leadership that this state and this university have provided in the land-grant movement, and the beautifully restored Morrill Hall stands as a powerful testament to that leadership. It is also especially fitting that we are rededicating Morrill Hall as we begin to celebrate the university's 150th anniversary."

Dixon-Fox, of Facilities Planning & Management, has managed the Morrill Hall project over the past five years. She says the completed building actually looks much different inside than envisioned in the original plan.

"In order to maximize the space in the building and the funding available for the project, we had to get very creative," Dixon-Fox said. "I would never have imagined we could get all of the specialized mechanical systems in the small footprint of the north half of the ground floor by excavating more than five feet of the basement floor. But it all fits. Morrill Hall is not a large building, but we took advantage of every square foot of space and every view, so it feels open and connected to central campus."

The interior of the "new" Morrill Hall is spacious and airy - a fact that belies its mere 24,890 gross square feet. Three tenants - University Museums' new Christian Petersen Art Museum, the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT), and the Textiles and Clothing Museum, Center for Visual Learning at Morrill Hall - are getting settled in their new surroundings.

The Christian Petersen Art Museum, the first campus museum in the nation dedicated to visual literacy and learning and campus public art, opened March 22. The museum is open weekdays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and weekends from 1 to 4 p.m.

CELT's main office moved to Morrill Hall over spring break, providing a central gathering space for faculty and students. The center works to advance the academic mission of Iowa State by enhancing teaching effectiveness and student learning and success at the university and beyond.

And the Textiles and Clothing Museum is gradually moving in its collection of more than 8,500 pieces from around the world - from Roman-era tomb fabrics and tapestry fragments, to fragile silk gowns worn by Carrie Chapman Catt, to more modern apparel. That center's move will take up to a year; however, its first exhibit in Morrill Hall will open Veishea week.

"Preserving the Past, Designing the Future: Textiles and Clothing Traditions at Iowa State University" will feature winners of the 2007 ISU fashion show, as well as items from major donors to the Textiles and Clothing Museum. The exhibit will run through Aug. 26.

Built in 1890, Morrill Hall never had any major remodeling or upgrading, and it had been unoccupied since 1998. The once-proud building was in such a deteriorated state, some thought it couldn't be saved.

But an informal poll in 2002 revealed that most respondents were in favor of saving the building. The ISU Foundation then completed a feasibility study among potential donors to gauge interest among alumni and friends in financially supporting a renovation. In August 2002, President Geoffroy announced a private campaign to raise funds to renovate Morrill Hall.

Under the leadership of President Geoffroy and his wife, Kathy, and Lyle and Nancy Campbell of Paradise Valley, Ariz., the campaign to save Morrill Hall became one of the largest grassroots fundraising efforts in Iowa State's history. More than 3,300 private donors accounted for $7.4 million of the $10.28 million renovation cost. The Campbells, longtime supporters of Iowa State, started the initiative with a $1 million commitment in January 2003, and added another $200,000 to their gift to complete the fundraising campaign.

Morrill Hall was redesigned under the U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) guidelines. Iowa State hopes the building will receive LEED certification later this summer. The certification involves scrutiny of the project in sustainability, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources used, and indoor environmental quality.

Inside and out, materials used in Morrill Hall were selected to reflect the project's sustainability goals. The roof shingles are made from recycled rubber. They look like the original slate that graced the building - at less than half the weight of the original roof. Finish materials with high recycled content were used throughout the interior.

One of the most visible examples of sustainable material used in Morrill Hall is the bamboo flooring in the gallery spaces. It's rapidly renewable, yet provides a durable, attractive surface in high-traffic areas. And natural daylight streams throughout the building, reducing the need for artificial lighting.

"This project has been special in that it pulls together so many important elements," FP&M's Dixon-Fox said. "Morrill Hall is at the center of many alumni memories of central campus. We took a building that many felt couldn't be salvaged and restored it to a beautiful structure. And we incorporated principles of sustainability, which serve to reduce the impact that the construction and operation of buildings has on the environment. That's something we need to do to leave a place that future students can be proud of. It's just a great space to be in."

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About the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching

The Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) works to advance the academic mission of Iowa State by enhancing teaching effectiveness and student learning and success at the university and beyond.

CELT provides programs, consultation and resources to foster the professional and intellectual development of educators; develops, implements and assesses instructional methods to enhance student learning; inspires innovations in and advocates the effective use of technology in university teaching; nurtures communities dedicated to enhancing learning and student engagement; and promotes an institutional culture that values and advances teaching and learning theory and practice.

About the Christian Petersen Art Museum

The museum is named for the nation's first permanent campus artist-in-residence, Christian Petersen, who sculpted at Iowa State from 1934 through 1955, and who is considered the founding artist of the Art on Campus Collection. Petersen was a member of the Iowa State faculty from 1937 through 1955. An affiliate of University Museums, the Christian Petersen Art Museum at Morrill Hall is the home of the Christian Petersen Art Collection, the Art on Campus Program, the University Museums' Visual Literacy and Learning Program, and Contemporary Changing Art Exhibitions Program.

Located within the Christian Petersen Art Museum are the Lyle and Nancy Campbell Art Gallery, the Roy and Bobbi Reiman Public Art Studio Gallery, the Margaret Davidson Center for the Study of the Art on Campus Collection, the Edith and Torsten Lagerstrom Loaned Collections Center, and the Neva M. Petersen Visual Learning Gallery.

About the Textiles and Clothing Museum, Center for Visual Learning at Morrill Hall

The Textiles and Clothing Museum is an interactive learning environment dedicated to the concepts of visual and object-based learning. The museum collects, documents, preserves, interprets, and exhibits a significant teaching collection of more than 8,500 cultural and historical textiles and clothing. The collection is accessible to students, scholars and academic researchers, and for public audiences through exhibitions and programming.

Located within the museum are the Mary Alice Gallery, named in honor of Mary Alice Anderson Reinhardt; the Donna Rae Danielson Textiles and Clothing Conservation Laboratory, and the Textiles and Clothing Collection Storage named in honor of Bertha and Edward Waldee.

Three general university classrooms, including the James and Barbara Palmer Small Objects Classroom, will be utilized by these programs as well as other departments across campus. One classroom, the former chapel, is now a brilliantly day-lit room that features a two-tiered seating arrangement, decorative wall and ceiling grills, and a handsome wood-detailed instruction wall.

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Quick look

The newly renovated Morrill Hall will be rededicated on Friday, April 20, at 11 a.m. The ceremony will be held on central campus, just across the street from Morrill.

Quote

"All Iowans should be very proud of the leadership that this state and this university have provided in the land-grant movement, and the beautifully restored Morrill Hall stands as a powerful testament to that leadership."

President Gregory Geoffroy