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Halligan Hall Reengineered

Halligan Hall, the home of the Departments of Computer Science and of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has recently reopened following a $4.5 million building renovation.

Originally built as a radio factory in 1925, Tufts acquired the building in 1930. On June 5, 1940, the building was dedicated as the Hooper Laboratories for Electrical Engineering in honor of William J. Hooper, A1877, G1878, H1898, a former Tufts professor instrumental in the founding of the Department of Electrical Engineering. Thanks to generous donations from William J. Halligan, E1923, H1937, and his wife Katherine Halligan, the building was rededicated in 1983. Improvements to the hall were made throughout the mid-1980s, but none as extensive as the recent remodel.

The concept design process began in July 2011 as the athletics department began to relocate to space in the newly redesigned Steve Tisch Sports and Fitness Center. The focus of the renovation was to provide quality interaction spaces for the students and faculty, though many improvements were also made to energy efficiency and accessibility.

The design incorporates new windows and utilities including a modular HVAC system that can be expanded and adapted for future renovations. The building is now handicapped accessible, with upgraded bathrooms and an elevator. The building also received an external facelift. The parapet on the façade was replaced with a horizontal patina copper molding to match the neighboring fitness center, completed in fall 2012.

Many efforts to bring in more natural light were incorporated into the design. Although the original roof featured skylights, the roof was replaced and solar tubes were used to bring daylight into open areas. Additionally, transoms were placed in as many openings as possible to allow daylight into the interior spaces.

Students also say they are happy with the aesthetically pleasing yet practical improvements. Marcella Hastings, E15, says, "Providing more collaborative space, areas for people to sit together and write on whiteboards, is essential for building a community within the department. The new space is bright, open, inviting--the physical appearance of the building finally matches the atmosphere created by the students and professors that are a part of it."

The grand re-opening of Halligan Hall took place on October 30, 2013. Another ceremony will be held in the spring for alumni and students. Read another story on the Halligan renovation in the Fall 2013 Blueprint magazine (page 6).

Jane Carter is Communications Assistant at Tufts School of Engineering.

[story posted 11/15/2013]

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