Duke Hall Opens After Renovations Completed

By: Amelia Nahmias Email
By: Amelia Nahmias Email

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- JMU has finished its $43 million renovations to Duke Hall, which houses the School of Art and Design.

The newly renovated Duke Hall features a 3,000 square foot gallery and is not only used by students, but also members of the community.

This new building also features plenty of state-of-the-art equipment.

The fibers area has a new sewing and knitting lab where students can spread out and the expanded wood shop has brand new wood lathes and a dovetail mortiser.

The building is 115,000 square feet in total, giving students much more room.

With high ceilings and furniture corresponding to design concepts they're learning about in classes, Dr. Bill Wightman, the director of the school, said one of the most important changes is the ventilation system that removes chemicals from the classrooms.

"The old building had a lot of health and safety issues related to studio processes because it wasn't really designed for the processes we're using today. So a lot of the remodel involved an upgrade on ventilation and health and safety concerns," said Wightman

The renovations hope to exceed health and safety standards earning a silver LEED status for the design.

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