Renovations on Tucker Hall on schedule for fall opening

Tucker Hall renovations are on schedule and the building is expected to be complete in time for classes.

Currently, the building’s windows remain covered in plastic as construction workers in white hard hats spread straw over the foundation. The project seems to be moving along as planned.

“It will be ready for the fall semester in August,” said project manager Ed Hill of Ajax Building Corporation.

“The fourth floor is pretty much all offices and the third floor is going to have a lecture hall, similar to what it previously had,” said Hill. “The second floor will house some lecture halls, the dean’s suite, adjuncts, classrooms and chair offices. The first floor will have the media lab in the same location, a rehearsal studio for the theatre and several classrooms and offices.”

Originally used for plays and other theatrical events as well as classes, Tucker Hall remains closed because of Florida A&M’s efforts to improve the building. According to Hill, the renovation costs about $16 million. The building housed several departments such as the College of Arts and Sciences, Office of the Dean, History and Political Science, Literature and Language. Tucker Hall will receive all new lighting systems, new seating as well as new offices and classrooms.

Because of Tucker Hall’s reconstruction, classes have been relocated causing some students confusion locating their classes. Students and faculty are anticipating the building’s completion.

Jasmine Burt, 20, a third year psychology student from Jacksonville, said that Tucker Hall was rather unpleasant and that renovation was necessary.

“The classrooms were small and it was very hot but I am excited to see it being renovated and I am glad that it’s getting done,” said Burt.

Not only are those who are familiar with Tucker Hall anxious to see the changes but those who have never seen the building before are anxious as well.

Breea Mitchell, 19, a first year broadcast journalism student from Atlanta is excited about the restoration of this piece of history.

“I think that it is a good idea to restore a part of FAMU’s history,” said Mitchell. “I really want to see how the inside will look because the buildings that I’ve seen on campus are very nice and I’m sure this one will be too,” said Mitchell. A lot of my classes have been in some of the older buildings and it would be nice to see something new.”

Constructed in 1956, Tucker Hall was named after co-founder Anthony De Saille Tucker, who was also the first president of FAMU.

Some agree that Tucker Hall is an important part of FAMU’s history and that renovating it is a good way to preserve the history behind it.

Gloria Poole, associate dean in the College of Education, recalled her experiences in Tucker Hall and expressed her feelings about the old and new building.

“I love when you walk up the stairs and the silhouettes look like characters; it is very artistic. It is reminiscent of the past,” said Poole. “I am excited that it is being renovated because we need to preserve historical values.”