Small Renovation, Big Impact

How new construction allows for more accessibility

Alex Bailey, News Reporter

Hamline University is partnering with Barr Engineering to make accessibility renovations to West Hall. West Hall holds many important offices and resounces on campus, including Disability Resources, the School of Education and Leadership, the Office of Graduate Admission and the Center for Justice and Law. 

Brendan Dougherty, a Hamline alumni and landscape architect for Barr Engineering, explained that they are working on renovations on the north entrance.

“We came up with a concept and there was some discussion about [West Hall] getting redeveloped,” he said.

Dougherty explained that Barr Engineering’s concept involved replacing the stairs facing Bush Memorial Library with ramps, to not only make it easier for those using wheelchairs, but for any disabled student who may have difficulty walking. Although Barr Engineering does not have involvement with the actual construction, they are hoping to have this renovation complete by this summer at the earliest. 

While this renovation seems small, the impact is large. Hamline’s Disability Resources Director Steve Anderson explained why accessibility is important for all students. 

“Accessibility should be important to everyone on campus, if you have mobility issues or not. People should have access to places they like to go,” Anderson said. 

He explained that accessibility has changed over the years on campus, and although accessibility isn’t progressing at a quick rate, it is still progress. 

“Even if you’re moving an inch forward, you’re moving forward,” Anderson said. 

The renovations will allow for more students, faculty and staff to have greater access to West Hall, making the spaces inside the building more accessible as well.  By making these renovations, the goal continues to be working towards making our campus — and community — more accessible for everyone.