Allen Hall Renovation Affecting more than SOJC

The Allen Hall construction project has shifted the School of Journalism and Communication’s faculty and staff to Agate Hall over the past few months. According to the Daily Emerald, Allen Hall will be “renovated for seismic and energy upgrades including remodeled classrooms and offices.” New plans for Allen Hall include expanding the current foundation to accommodate the new rooms, as well as building a centralized, circulating staircase.

Construction company, Lease Crutcher Lewis, has been assigned the project. Their website explains detailed plans for Allen hall, as well as further information regarding the sustainable design features involved in the development. The effects of relocation have already been felt by many, including the community groups who previously danced at Agate Hall. The Register Guard recently ran an article stating the the University of Oregon will no longer be renting out its auditorium to local community groups. The Eugene Swing Dance Club, received “only a 30-day notice that it will have to find another location for the weekly dances it has held in Agate Hall for 15 years.”

The Register Guard also states that “According to university records, more than 500 different organizations and individuals have rented space there since 1984, offering theater, lectures, discussions, performances, dances, receptions and many other events.”

Besides the obvious difficulties associated with finding a new place to dance however, losing Agate’s dance floor is the worst part. The auditorium features a relatively rare “floating” floor that is suspended above ground. These floors offer some ‘give’ and are easier on peoples’ joints.

“That is a wonderful floor,” said club member Will Shaver. “There are very few floors like it in the area. It would be a shame to see that floor not used for dancing.”

The Eugene Swing Dance Club has a news blog where people can send letters in support of keeping Agate Hall open for community events.


About rschoeck

Grad student studying journalism at the University of Oregon.
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