Cross your fingers for Harshman!

Oh, Harshman Hall.

Some say it’s haunted. Others say it’s an eyesore. And the College knows this hospital building transformed to college facility fit a need when it came on board in 2007. But it’s definitely not the easiest place to have a class. A year ago, I took a Creative Writing class there, and the narrow classroom was so unfriendly for computers, the instructor could not physically stand in the front of the class—she had to pace along the side of the classroom. Which means it was not possible to face both our computers and the instructor.

See that aisle up the lefthand side of the pic? That's where the instructor got to pace. See which way the chairs face? Not at the instructor.

See that aisle up the left side of the pic? That’s where the instructor got to pace. See which way the chairs face? Not at the instructor. You can make out a corner of the projection screen on the left side of the picture, too. Depending on the lighting in the room, the angle of the screen made it impossible to read what was up there.

Well, Ivy Tech knows this, and the folks who can make a difference have been informed, as well. Harshman Hall is one of the Ivy Tech capital request (construction and renovation projects) that could get some statewide funding, and a portion of those funds could arrive in order for changes to begin in as soon as two years. Recently, Ivy Tech president Sue Ellspermann presented to the Commission for Higher Education to plead the College’s case on where we are at and where need to be (including the need at Harshman). If the commission deems the project necessary, it can recommend that the state legislature give us the funds we need to improve the building.

And how would it improve? Some of the biggies include

  • Majorly reconfiguring classrooms, which would fix those wonky computer lab classrooms.
  • Grouping together all student services instead of having advising out front, TRIO in the back, and Career Services off in its own little corner while others like the Express Enrollment Center and Financial Aid are in a completely different building. (Check out the mock up below to see how organized things would be.)
  • Replacing the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems.

mockup

Harshman Hall has been around since 1965, and about a third of the College’s liberal arts, gen ed, and transfer division classes are taught in the building each semester. It hasn’t had a substantial update in … well, ever. Unless you count the outside facelift it received in the late 2000s. Check out what the front used to look like.

harshman

OK, it’s not all bad. That outdoor seating area on the second floor is kind of cool. See?

General studies student Gordon Beemer on the outdoor area on Harshman's second floor back in 2014.

General studies student Gordon Beemer on the outdoor area on Harshman’s second floor back in 2014.

Do you take any classes in Harshman Hall? How does the space compare to the other Ivy Tech Northeast buildings? Do you have a favorite building or spot to take classes?

If you’d like to learn more details behind the Harshman Hall request, check out this story that appeared in the Oct. 4 edition of The Journal Gazette (“Ivy Tech seeks $17.4 million for upgrade”).

Here are some concept renderings of how things could change…

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