Hillman remodeling slated for May completion

by Rhea Purvis

Simpson is literally trashing its alumni office.

Many students, faculty, staff and visitors have noticed the large trash chute coming from the office on the second floor of Hillman Hall. It’s there because the college is in the process of gutting and remodeling the alumni office.

Freshman Stacia Weinman doesn’t like the trash chute.

“It’s pretty disgusting and annoying to see this coming out of Hillman,” Weinman said.

Chris Goodale, vice president of college advancement, sees it as a necessary disadvantage.

“The trash chute is a necessary evil for progress to be made,” Goodale said.

According to Goodale, the college decided to remodel in order to bring back the original look of the area.

The renovation was alumnus Richard Barker’s idea. Barker wanted to restore Hillman Hall because he met, fell in love with and courted his wife, Cathy, just outside the south end of the building. Richard and Cathy Barker both graduated in the class of 1943, and Barker currently lives near San Diego, Calif.

According to Goodale, Barker is donating a large amount of money for this particular project, which began with the removal of a second floor that had been put in place several years ago. The next step is to refurbish the interior walls and put in new windows. Lastly, offices will be created on the ground floor which will be open to the vaulted ceiling.

The project is slated to be finished prior to commencement. The dedication ceremony will take place during Alumni Weekend in June.

Goodale wouldn’t be surprised if the noise of this work is disrupting a few of the college’s employees. There are staff members on all floors in Hillman and he said the effort everyone has put forth in dealing with the remodeling is certainly appreciated.

The construction crew is currently the only staff working in the south end of Hillman. Three members of the College Advancement staff have been temporarily moved to Simpson’s West Des Moines office, and three have also been moved to Mary Berry Hall. One staff member is also working from home.

Ashley Rullestad, director of annual giving, moved to the West Des Moines office. Rullestad said the temporary inconvenience will be worth it in the end.

“I hope that Richard Barker is proud and that Simpson is proud with the finished result,” Rullestad said.

Ultimately, the project will make a better and more enjoyable workspace for the Office of College Advancement because when the renovation is finished, the staff will return to that space.

In the meantime, sophomore Danielle Shelly is concerned with how the remodeling affects Simpson’s appearance. She said the trash chute makes Simpson look unattractive.

“It looks bad,” Shelly said. “Especially when we have campus tours and they see a trash chute coming out of a building.”