Bailey Hall to house social sciences

The anthropology, geography, psychology and sociology departments currently housed in Sturges and Fraser Halls are slated to be relocated to Bailey Hall within the next few years.

Jeff Kaplan, director of facilities, planning and construction, said that Bailey Hall had become vacant after the chemistry and physics department moved to recently renovated Greene Hall. "The college performed an academic space planning study to identify the departments" that could be moved to fill that space, Kaplan said.

Originally, the political science and communication departments were also to be included in the move, but there was not enough room in the budget or the building. According to Kaplan, the space needs of the four selected departments provided the best fit for Bailey.

"The goal is to create an integrated social sciences center, modeled on the Integrated Sciences Center," Lofquist said, adding that housing four social science departments together will provide an opportunity "for students and faculty from different social science departments to come together and create a community."

Rosemarie Chierici, associate professor and chair of the anthropology department, said the move will "increase the opportunity to talk to people outside the department and to collaborate."

According to Kaplan, Bailey will be "a totally renovated space" with brand new classrooms and the latest technology.

Chierici said she was excited that Bailey might offer "adequate space not only for offices and classes but for archaeological collections … We are hoping that we will have room in the new space to exhibit our collections and to share them with the campus community." She said a concern of faculty, however, was whether classroom space would be adequate.

Ganie DeHart, professor and chair of the psychology department, also expressed concern about the size of office space in Bailey and said her department is "cautiously optimistic" about the move. She cited significant benefits of the move as the expansion of research space for students and faculty.

"One of [the psychology department's] main concerns about the Bailey renovation has been crowding - putting four departments into space that previously housed one department," DeHart said in an e-mail. She commended Provost Carol Long for her responsiveness to the concerns of departments and noted that significant revisions to the plan have been made in light of those concerns. The floor plans are not yet finalized.

"Sturges has been home [to sociology] for a long time and the department feels some reluctance about leaving it," Lofquist said. He agreed, however, that having a central location in Bailey will allow for more student-faculty interaction than currently exists since the department now uses classrooms in three different buildings.

Kaplan described the relocation as "a good project for the campus … It is important to get activity in Bailey because of its location on the College Green."

The exact timetable for the transfer has not yet been determined, and the project as a whole is still in the early stages of design.