Cornell College
cornell college

Iowa college is renovating one of its oldest buildings

April 28, 2021
The $3.6 million upgrade of College Hall at Cornell College is designed to keep the history alive while adding a modern feel for students.

$3.6 million renovation is underway at one of the oldest buildings at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa.

KCRG-TV reports that College Hall, originally named “Old Main,” was built 164 years ago and was the second academic building on the Cornell campus.

The renovation will install air conditioning in the building for the first time. Project managers say temperatures sometimes have been 60 degrees warmer upstairs than in the basement.

Cornell College Construction Project Manager Scott Ladwig says installing air conditioning in the building will cost about $1 million.

“We’re not only bringing the mechanics and the air conditioning into this building, but we’re also taking the technology one step forward and blending it into this historic building,” Ladwig says.

Cornell College President Jonathan Brand says a new finance lab with state-of-the-art technology will be the gem of the building. It will feature a financial ticker board anchored to the ceiling that will continuously stream asset prices, currencies, and other financial information to create the feel of a trading room.

All classrooms will have new audio and visual equipment. Bathrooms will be renovated and updated to meet accessibility standards.

Cornell says College Hall's function will remain the same. It will continue to house offices and classrooms for the education, economics and business, classical and modern languages, history, and sociology and anthropology departments.

Renovations should be complete by the end of July.

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