University of the Ozarks, Walker Hall

Clarksville, Arkansas

For 77 years, Hurie Hall stood proudly on the University of the Ozarks campus. At one time, it housed all classes for the school, as well as a library, post office, gymnasium and bookstore. Age and structural damage made it evident that the hall would have to undergo a major renovation or be demolished. Restoring the building wouldn’t meet the needs of the ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$138.89FEATURED IN2003 Architectural Portfolio university. Trying to satisfy the university’s requirements, and remembering the place Hurie held in everyone’s hearts, university officials and architects decided to create a new building in the same architectural style. The new facility would house the communications and education departments.

Attempts were made to preserve the memory of Hurie by incorporating many of the brick details and by re-using columns. The west columns are replicas of the Hurie columns, and the capitals and entire east columns are restored from the building.

The highway running alongside the building posed acoustical challenges for the communications studios. To compensate, the walls in all the sensitive areas are isolated from the structure and lined with five layers of sheet rock, acoustical block, isolation blocks and acoustical padding. Together, these layers provide the quiet environment needed for radio and television broadcasting.

The building is flooded with sunlight from a skylight over the atrium, which contains a grand staircase. It houses a distance-learning lab, a television studio, a radio station, editing rooms, “smart” classrooms, office space, news-writing rooms, a community room, conference rooms, an observation room, faculty and student lounges, a tutoring center, computer labs and storage.