Turner: Renovations to ‘Jones Hall’ Make Building Like New

After a little more than a month of being unofficially open, the renovated Jones Hall received a formal introduction Thursday.

Renovations had been underway in the the building since Spring 2010.

Since 1953, Jones Hall has served as the gateway building for those pursuing degrees in chemistry, physics and biology at Florida A&M. The building was also renovated in 1974 and 1993.

Ralph Turner, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said the renovations make Jones Hall comparable to a new building.

“The complete renovation of Jones Hall was a challenge to all of us,” said Turner “It required wrangling the entire building, ripping off the roof and installing a new one, replacing the windows, replacing the old plumbing, removing asbestos, replacing fume hoods and duct work, removing laboratory benches and bringing technology up to par throughout the buildings.”

The building’s retrofits and technological amenities were accomplished within the budget of $11.1 million over a one-year time period.

Lisa Dorceus, a second-year, pre-pharmacy student from Orlando, thinks the building looks more appealing.

“It look’s nicer. For instance the chemistry lab, the hoods look a lot better,” said Dorceus “It looks better than my freshman year. The equipment looks like it’s going to work. It’s more efficient.”

She said the renovations and updates were much needed, especially in the science building because the natural science departments seemed neglected.

“The natural sciences don’t get as much attention as they should and I think they deserved a new building. The building looked nothing like this.”

New audiovisual technology is being implemented in the classrooms that involve touch screen controls. In several of the classrooms there are demonstration cameras, so a professor can demonstrate something and that information can be viewed onscreen.

Room 109 has a projector and is slated to receive two flat-screen displays.

The rest of the classrooms are expected to consist of projectors and wireless slates that give the professor the capability to walk around the room and do anything they want in terms of taking pictures or imitation highlighting.

The man responsible for the technological upgrades is Chris Treville, branch manager for Audio Visual Innovations and Signal Perfection, Ltd. He believes the technology enhancement is very significant for the building.

“It’s very important because it gives you the ability to use technology that kids have grown up with. So that is very important,” said Treville.

Before, professors were physically writing on the boards. Now through advanced technology they have the ability to digitally display information on the board whether it is notes, graphics or media. Room 109 is complete with all the bells and whistles.

More than 14 other classrooms are expected to be updated with the advanced technology as well.

During the reopening ceremony, President James Ammons expressed how proud he was of Jones Hall and that this state of the art building will help with recruitment and enhance FAMU.

“I will continue to support the program of Jones Hall because they support our mission of Florida A&M University, our desire to become a research intensive university,” said Ammons.

“We view this building being the foundation somewhat, that will help us provide the foundation for us to achieve these goals.”