April 09, 2007
Knox College will undertake an extensive renovation and expansion of its Hamblin Hall student residence this summer. Renovation of the residence hall at 251 West South Street will add nine new apartments to the existing 24. The project will add spaces for 29 students, increasing capacity to 101 from the current 72.
The new two-person and four-person apartments will be built on the ground level, along with a new lounge area. The College also will replace all kitchens, bathrooms and doors in the existing apartments. The outside entrance and all the lounges and common living areas will be renovated. A sprinkler system, new fire alarm system and an elevator will be installed.
Some preliminary work is planned to begin this spring, with the major construction in June and July. Completion is planned for August, prior to students returning to campus in late August and early September.
"The renovation will raise both the quality and the variety in residences for seniors," said Craig Southern, associate dean of students for campus life and director of residential learning. "We are also increasing the number of handicapped-accessible rooms and our overall flexibility in meeting student housing preferences."
Students are looking forward to the project, especially this year's juniors who, as seniors next year, are most likely to gain spots in Hamblin via the campus-wide housing lottery, said Maurice Harris. A junior from St. Louis, Harris served this year on an informal committee of students and administrators that examined campus housing.
"Hamblin is already one of the most popular, if not the most popular, housing option for seniors, because it's apartment-style living, right here on campus," Harris said. "Next year, I'll be a senior and a resident advisor, and Hamblin is my first choice, so I'm almost positive I'll be living there. I've studied the project plans, and Knox is making a good place even better."
Plumbing, electrical, heating and air conditioning lines will be replaced throughout the building. New electric and air conditioning lines will be extended to the building from Knox's central plant.
Hamblin Hall is named after Adolph "Ziggy" Hamblin a 1920 Knox graduate and the only student in College history to win 16 varsity athletic letters. Hamblin worked and coached at Knox for a year, then began a distinguished career as a coach and faculty member at West Virginia State University, where the science building was named in his honor.
Founded in 1837, Knox is a national liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, with students from 45 states and 44 nations. Knox's "Old Main" is a National Historic Landmark and the only building remaining from the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates.
Architect's drawing of new front entry, to be built as part of the Hamblin Hall renovation at Knox College. Below, Adolph Hamblin as a four-sport athlete.