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D&E updates facilities

September 4, 2012
By Beth Christian Broschart - Staff Writer , The Inter-Mountain

Davis & Elkins College has welcomed back its students with the announcement of facility updates throughout the campus.

The upgrades include relocating Hemlock Street, updates for a dormitory, a new pool roof for the Hermanson Natatorium, relocation of the Darby Collection, the addition of an Augusta Store, various renovations to Harper-McNeeley Auditorium, the Joni Smith Softball Field and scoreboard, two new soccer fields in the Allen Athletic Fields, roof repair to the Eschleman Science Center, a new student lounge in the library and new lights around the campus.

"We hope to complete the relocation of Hemlock Street before the Mountain State Forest Festival," D&E College Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Kevin Wilson said. "This project also lines Hemlock Street with Church Drive and gives more room to our green space."

Article Photos

The Inter-Mountain photo by Beth Christian Broschart
Davis & Elkins College is working to complete many updates to its facilities. One project, relocating Hemlock Street so it lines up with Church Lane, will open up the college’s green space and help with the traffic flow in that area.

Wilson said replacing the roof on the Hermanson Natatorium was a top priority.

"The side of the roof collapsed during a storm, leaving the area exposed," Wilson said. "The building needed some upgrades, so we took advantage of the time and included other items."

The natatorium roof had been in place since the 1970s. It is being replaced with a slanted Butler roof.

"The slanted roof will help with the accumulation of snow," Wilson said. "We will also be installing an air changer that keeps a constant humidity in the room and changes the air every 22 seconds."

The anticipated date of completion is Oct. 20, one week before the swim team's first meet. Members of the team are currently using the pool at Alderson-Broaddus College for training.

New seats, as well as new lighting, carpeting, a Bose sound system and a ventilation system, have been added to Harper-McNeeley Auditorium.

"The ventilation system will maintain 30 percent humidity at all times," Wilson said. "The seats are five different sizes, ranging from 19 to 24 inches."

An addition of the Augusta Store in the lobby is enhanced by a new space for art.

"Currently we have an art display by Michael Doig," Wilson said. "We will be rotating through different artists as the year progresses."

One addition everyone is really excited for, Wilson said, is the Joni Smith Softball Field and soccer fields at Allen Athletic Fields.

"We have added three acres of sod for the soccer field and the new softball field includes a scoreboard," Wilson said. "We are very excited for the dedication of the new facility and the players are excited to use the facilities."

Each year for the past five years, a dorm has been completely renovated with new carpeting, tile, bedding, paint, window treatments and bathroom fixtures. This year the final dorm, Roxanna Booth Hall, received a total renovation.

"The renovation began the day after graduation," Wilson said. "We are very pleased with the result and happy to have all five dorms completed."

A student lounge located in Booth Library was refurbished by the parent program at the college. The room is used for meetings, classes and study, and now has brand-new comfortable tables and chairs along with a television monitor.

Lights across the campus are being replaced with presidential lights on new poles. The poles include tabs for flags and hanging baskets.

"We are so happy to have completed these many upgrades," Wilson said. "We are confident these changes will help us continue to provide a clean, safe and student-friendly atmosphere for our students and the community."

Contact Beth Christian Broschart by email at



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