Nathaniel Pierce, Staff Writer~
The beginning of Thanksgiving Break was the beginning of a complete remodel of the ballroom in Hall Campus Center. Now, just a few weeks into the new year, the Ballroom is almost complete, and it has a very fresh face.
“The old ballroom was made with no real purpose other than being just that, a ballroom. Having not been renovated in upwards of 35 years, there was no handicap accessibility, there was no storage space, and it was extremely outdated,” according to Steve Bright, the vice president for business and finance. The new design fixes these issues. Another major focus of this renovation. Bright highlighted that, “The ballroom is usually the first thing that possible future Hornets and their parents see, so giving that good first impression is very important to the Lynchburg Administration.”
There are many changes to the remodeled ballroom. The most obvious change is that the stage is now on the opposite side of the ballroom, and it is permanent. The new stage is revolutionary compared to the temporary stage that once sat on the west side of the building. Not only is it now permanent, but it has been built with storage space behind the stage to get rid of the curtains that were used to hide storage in the old layout.
The back side of the stage, hidden by a newly constructed wall that surrounds the stage, has plenty of room to store the different stage pieces that any sort of presentation would need. Along with the storage space, there is a new ramp that allows access to the stage for anyone who is handicapped. Steve Bright stated that a “focus on making things more handicap-accessible was a definite goal.”
The remodeled bathrooms are now wheelchair-friendly as well, compared to the 1970s-style bathrooms of the past. Bright also said that “there are plans for systems allowing the hearing impaired to be able to be involved in all of the presentations.” These advancements in accessibility make the new ballroom ADA compliant. (For more information on ADA compliance, visit Interactiveaccessibility.com)
Along with the advancements in accessibility, there is a big change in the aesthetic appeal of the entire ballroom. The old ballroom was very grey, having a light wicker-pattern wooden floor. The new ballroom is much more modern, welcoming and warm, as seen in the concept art. The new lighting is a combination of ceiling lamps and “halo” style lights. The floor, walls and ceiling have all been redesigned in different types and shades of wood, giving the ballroom a similar look to that of Drysdale Student Center and Schewel Hall. Dominion 7, the architect company that created Drysdale, is the lead architect in the design of the new ballroom.
Despite all the additions to the ballroom, the occupancy level hasn’t changed. According to Bright, the renovated ballroom should be able to comfortably accommodate about 350 people standing and 200 sitting at tables.
Steve Bright did have one clue to give about the modernized ballroom. He hinted that with the face-lift, the new ballroom is eligible for a potential name-change.