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.