Bardwell space becomes popular for contention
Several departments seek to gain classrooms after Bardwell clears out. | Thecla Li/THE CHIMES
The departments currently located in Bardwell Hall plan to start vacating after finals week for its big move into the new Alton and Lydia Lim Center for Science, Technology and Health, leaving Bardwell open to new possibilities for its use.
INTEREST EXPRESSED BY THE ART DEPARTMENT
The building will clear out all of its classrooms and laboratories with the likely exception of lecture hall 112, which will continue to host students during the spring semester. Due to the tripled program area available in the science center, the sciences will have sufficient space in its new home. This leaves senior director of facilities management Brian Phillips to consider other departments to occupy Bardwell based on their need. He hopes to reach a final decision by January with the help of provost and senior vice president Deborah Taylor and vice president of university operations and finance Michael Pierce.
“We have a pretty neat opportunity to make Bardwell a great home for some future need,” Phillips said. “[But] we have not yet decided how Bardwell will be used.”
The art department remains in serious contention for the space. The upcoming construction of the future cinema and media arts building plans to demolish almost all of the fine arts rooms, leaving only the production center and the 90s building standing. Without Bardwell, its department may end up homeless.
Moreover, it not only finds Bardwell attractive for its place in the middle of campus and but also its convenient location across the Earl and Virginia Green Art Gallery. Interim dean of the School of Fine Arts and Communication Jonathan Puls believes that students would also find the change to a newly renovated facility extremely beneficial for both art majors and others alike.
“The art department needs to have dedicated facilities to serve the curriculum uniquely,” Puls said. “[And] it could bring a kind of vibrancy to the center of campus.”
Art students currently occupy the area of Rood Hall, the 20s building and the 90s building, but rooms such as the arts computer lab remain heavily booked and inhabited, forcing the department to often rely on the library to hold classes.
Senior art major Kaila Williams has been hoping for a whole, cohesive art building and sincerely hopes for the department to reside in Bardwell.
“I hope they take in consideration the art classes,” Williams said. “It feels like we have little space and they’re not [even] close together.”
A DIFFICULT DECISION
However, there are other needy competitors on campus who would find the space useful. Certain classrooms and numerous faculty offices isolated in modular buildings in the Grove seek higher quality facilities, while the Conservatory of Music would like to take the opportunity to expand.
Regardless of Phillips’ choice on Bardwell, the university will carry on with their master plan, which may potentially include a brand new performing arts building for future theater students.
Meanwhile, preparations to move current Bardwell classrooms over to the science center will remain the main focus as the City of La Mirada, LA County Fire and LA County Building and Safety continue to work with Phillips to ensure that faculty and equipment moves in safely and prepares for students by Jan. 8.