Old Main Restored

May  20, 2013

     After two years, and milions of dollars, the symbol of Augustana College, and its best-known building, has been renovated and restored. During graduation weekend, students, alumni, and their families toured Old Main.

     Executive vice president, Kent Barnds, says during the first year crews worked on the dome and exterior of Old Main. Then they spent the past year fixing up the interior. 

     "Once upon a time, the chapel for Augustana College was in the east end of the building, between the 3rd and 4th floors. We have restored that feature into a space we refer to as a "forum" which is a 2-story space, a place where we can gather for a poetry reading or small lecture, for 30-40 people."

     One wall of  "the forum" features a large stained-glass window that previously had been covered.

     Along with updated utilities and new, "smart classrooms," Barnds says offices and faculty for several departments are now grouped together instead of being scattered througout the building. 

     "Previously through the many renovations that occurred, people were placed where they could be placed. But when you strip a building down to the bare bones, you can start from scratch, and that's what we were able to do with Old Main."

     In the coming weeks, furniture and faculty will be moved back into Old Main. The two-year project cost about 13 million dollars.