Jones Hall up for renovation

Jones Hall science building will be renovated in the near future because of over due remodeling needs.

According to Section Xl, Notices Regarding Bids, Proposals and Purchases of the Florida Department of Education, the building is “over due for a major remodeling to correct deficiencies in its major systems,” which includes security and interior work.

“We are remodeling the building for the current users to update all of the labs and classrooms in the building,” said Samuel Houston, director of the physical plant at Florida A&M.

According to Houston, it has been eight years since Jones Hall has been renovated. 

Campus buildings are constructed on a 50 year cycle. Within those years Houston and his team are able to upgrade and bring those buildings to the current standards of the timeline. 

“It’s part of our continuing master upgrade plan of bringing old facilities up to the current use,” Houston said. “We identify buildings that need to be upgraded, renovated or remodeled to accommodate current standards.”

Mathematics professor, Ahmed Dia, who teaches liberal arts math on the first floor of the building, said he was glad to hear about the renovations.

“It’ll be nice to have a nice and new building so the students can concentrate better,” Dia said.

Biology Department Chairman Dr. Lekan Latinwo said he feels great about the Jones Hall renovation.

Both Latinwo and Dia agree the renovations are essential to enhance the students’ concentration in the classrooms.

“It is too hot and we don’t have a good ac [air conditioning],” Dia said, “most of time they [students] get headaches when they stay one hour here because of the heat.”

Dia said the heat lowers the performance of the students.

“They do not concentrate and they are anxious to leave so it lowers the performance and also the attendance,” said Dia.

Efficient heat and cooling thermostats, the elevator, classrooms and lab conditions are but a few things Latinwo hopes will be restored.

“We will be doing new AC/HC [air and heating conditions], lighting and upgrading office space,” Houston said.  “We will go in and update the mechanical systems and install new computers with wireless Internet access.”

Houston said the building will serve the same function as it did before. All the biology labs, chemistry labs, science labs and office spaces in the building will be redone for a better learning experience. 

“I think it’s in our master plan to upgrade buildings that will bring Jones Hall, Tucker Hall and Gore on the same status as the journalism building and the Commons building that we just finished renovating,” Houston said.

Renovation on Jones Hall is scheduled to begin in January 2010 and completed by August of the same year.

Attendants of the building will be moved out in December.

“We have relocated all of the labs and the office space to the old DRS school so they will be moving into the old DRS while we renovate Jones Hall,” Houston said.
In the future, Houston plans to renovate Gore Education Center in June 2010.