Students ready for Welch facelift

Jace Klein

A hub of learning and research, a prime study spot, or that outdated building that everyone has chemistry in — Welch Hall has been a central point for many College of Natural Sciences students for nearly 90 years, and it’s in the process of getting a major facelift.

For the next four years, many students taking classes taught in Welch, such as general chemistry and organic chemistry, will be relocated to Burdine Hall and other buildings on campus, according to the renovation website. The recently remodeled wing of Welch facing Norman Hackerman will remain open and provide a visual reference for what the future of Welch will look like.

Welch was originally built in 1929 after the campus’s former chemistry building burnt down. As the years progressed and UT needed more space for research, new wings were added onto the original building. As of the beginning of fall 2016, the oldest wing in Welch finished renovations and opened up for classes, according to the website.

Electrical engineering sophomore Anh Tran said she was excited for the updates to Welch, a building where she said she endured one of her calculus courses in one of the older classrooms.

“(Welch is) ugly, outdated and the only good thing about it is that the elevator closes fast,” Tran said.

Not only will the technology see an improvement, but the aesthetic of the building will also be enhanced, providing a great place for studying, intellectual discussion and research, according to the website.

Business sophomore Thomas Mayer, though not required to take classes in Welch, said he has utilized the place as a study area and wants to see improvement in the feel of the building.
“The old part has a certain odor and the lighting makes everything looks dusty and terrible,” Mayer said.

Renovations will finish in 2020, when the new Welch Hall will open to the public.

“In a single phase that keeps costs in check, renovations will knit multiple disciplines together to advance chemistry, biology, physics and technology research,” the renovation website stated.
Biology sophomore Tasneem Ahsanullah said she’s also looking forward to the renovations.

“I think there could be improvements to the technology in classrooms,” Ahsanullah said. “I didn’t even know there was going to be a new Welch building.”