A Rock and a Hard Place: The Tech Hall Situation

The tech hall.

Most UAH students have had at least one class in Olin B. King Technology Hall; the third floor is home to the Computer Science Department and Morton Hall’s ongoing renovation has made Tech Hall a temporary home to a number of displaced humanities classes. However, Tech Hall is not known for its exciting architecture or outstanding condition. In fact, as one enters Tech Hall, they will most likely get the feeling that the building has not changed at all since its construction. Aside from its utility as a time capsule to the seventies, Tech Hall is not an exceptionally inviting building; the long, windowless hallways, the dim, sometimes flickering lights, and the eggshell white color scheme that is strictly adhered to all make the building feel more like a prison than an academic hall. According to a UAH asbestos awareness slideshow, Tech Hall was built using asbestos containing materials; these materials are not harmful unless they are “releasing dust or fibers into the air,” which Tech Hall’s asbestos containing materials are presumably not doing. Although Tech Hall’s asbestos is not harmful, its existence is a testament to the building’s age. In comparison with UAH’s latest constructions, such as the Charger Union or the Student Services Building, Tech Hall seems lightyears behind the standard.

After years of decay, the University’s Board of Trustees is finally aware of Tech Hall’s state of disrepair, and is taking steps to improve the situation. At a Board of Trustees meeting last March, Professor Tim Newman called Tech Hall a “horrible workplace for our faculty,” and said “We are lucky that Olin King isn’t on the [Board of Trustees] anymore. If the [Board of Trustees] members who knew him, knew the condition of his building, [they] would be angry at this university.” To expedite Tech Hall’s repair, Faculty Senate Bill 432 was introduced and passed. Some of the problems the bill points out are “The main entry to Tech Hall has become an embarrassment to current and visiting students and parents, … The stairwells of Tech Hall seem to have been swept irregularly, … [and] Many white boards in the building resist erasure.” To address these issues, the bill declares “That the deficient state of Tech Hall, including especially all items identified in this bill, should be immediately remedied by UAH’s Administration.”

Although these improvements are small, they have already gone a long way in improving the building’s condition. Since Bill 432 was passed last March, Tech Hall’s main entrance has been repainted, which has made the building a more welcoming place. Although the hallways remain long and beige, and asbestos still lurks within the insulation, there is a new symbol of hope in these dark times: Beast Mode food truck has been seen outside Tech Hall’s side entrance. The food truck can be found at Tech Hall between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Tuesdays, and accepts Charger Bucks and Dining Dollars. Tech Hall has been known as a building of disrepair and dilapidation for many years, but with some fresh improvements and the assistance of a food truck, there might just be a new hope for Tech Hall after all.

Ben Houser
Ben Houser

Ben is a dual degree English and Computer Science sophomore at UAH. When he is not studying, he enjoys hiking and backpacking, listening to records, reading, and making music.

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    This story seems to be littered with errors. Firstly, Time Newman is a faculty member here at UAH. He is not a member of the UA Systems Board of Trustees or even the UAH Fountation Board of Trustees, those are the only two Board of Trustees that are connected with the University. It appears that Tim Newman is a member of the Faculty Senate.

    Secondly, the senate bill 432 that you mentioned was a Faculty Senate Bill, that should be noted as there are numerous senates linked with UAH (Faculty Senate, Staff Senate, SGA Senate, Alabama State Senate) that could have passed that.

    If this student newspaper is going to be putting out stories they need to be accurate.

    1. Avatar

      Thank you for your feedback; the single factual error and the ambiguity have been corrected

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