Historic Tift Hall gets new life - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Historic Tift Hall gets new life

An old photo of Tift Hall (Source: ABAC) An old photo of Tift Hall (Source: ABAC)

By Jay Polk - bio | email

TIFTON, GA (WALB) -  Like many schools in Georgia, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College has plenty of tradition. And among the traditions is a set of three buildings at the front of the Tifton campus.

"Tift, Lewis and Herring Hall were the original three buildings of the college when it opened in 1908," said Dr. David Bridges, President of ABAC.

In the past, Tift Hall was the place to go to get business done with the college. But over time, all three buildings started to show their age.

"We had some structural problems that we encountered with the prop of the building that we felt really raised some safety issues,"  said Dr. Bridges.

And since they were built more than one hundred years ago, they were also lacking something else considered key to survival in South Georgia.

"No central heat and air," said Dr. Bridges.

A few years ago, Tift Hall was closed for repairs, and since it was the main administration building, student services became less centrally located.

"They're scattered all over campus," said Dr. Bridges.

No one was certain when any of the three buildings would open again, but help is on the way.

"Actually signed the contract (on Thursday) with the construction company to begin work on Tift Hall. And to begin the infrastructure work associated with the entire front of the campus."

In addition to bringing all of the administrative functions into one building, renovating Tift Hall will also allow the college to better welcome visitors to its campus.

That's because ABAC is not like most of the other colleges in the system.

"This campus has really one point of access and that's the front," said Dr. Bridges.

With that in mind, the college plans to take advantage of Tift Hall's location.

"The first floor of the building will be used as the college's welcome center and information center," said Dr. Bridges.

And when this project is done in 2011, people driving by this campus' front door will see a familiar - yet shiny and new - welcome mat.

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