College of Liberal Arts Moves Back to Ventress Hall

After water damage in 2011, UM historic building reopens

Ventress Hall, Photo by UM Photographer Kevin Bain

Ventress Hall. Photo by UM Photographer Kevin Bain

OXFORD, Miss – College of Liberal Arts administrators have returned home to one of the most recognized buildings on campus — Ventress Hall.

The college’s offices were relocated to Lester Hall in November 2011 due to water damage caused by broken steam pipes. The offices were moved back to Ventress at the end of the summer.

“The third floor of Lester Hall was enough space for our staff,” said Glenn Hopkins, liberal arts dean. “We certainly were on the far reaches of campus but it was not a significant hardship because we had enough space.”

Planning for the renovation began in spring 2012, and the yearlong process started in late summer 2012.

Some of the major work included repairing walls, ceilings and flooring damaged by the water and steam. Also, the elevator shaft was rebuilt and equipped with a new elevator cab so the building is ADA compliant, and office space was added on the second floor to accommodate more staff.

“We are pleased to be back in our historic building in the center of campus,” Hopkins said. “Ventress Hall is a beautiful space, and we are glad to be home.”

The reopening of the building also marks the return of a popular visitors’ attraction — a stained-glass window commemorating the University Greys,  a company of UM students and faculty who fought in the Civil War.

Built in 1889 with a Victorian Romanesque design and turret, Ventress Hall is one of UM’s most distinctive buildings.  Constructed as the university’s library, it was the first major building added to the campus after the Civil War.  Over the years, Ventress housed the law school, the State Geological Survey, and the departments of geology and art.

For more information on the College of Liberal Arts, click here.