University News

Ribbon-cutting Events Scheduled

September 17, 2012

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MACOMB, IL -- Members of the WIU and Macomb communities are invited to attend two ribbon-cutting ceremonies beginning at 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21 to celebrate the re-opening of the 3-D art facility and Corbin-Olson halls, both which have undergone extensive renovations. A reception and tour will follow each ribbon-cutting event.

A ribbon cutting for the 3-D Art Studios, located in the lower level of the Heating Plant Annex, will be held at 1 p.m.

The newly-remodeled space houses art studios for ceramics, sculpture, metals and woodworking. The space was renovated over the summer at a cost of $1.7 million. Work in the HPA included ADA accessible restrooms, new storage lockers, new lighting and paint and added windows for improved lighting. Renovations also included the addition of state-of-the-art air handling systems to ensure compliance with safety mandates.

The ribbon-cutting and dedication of the renovated Corbin-Olson (COOL) complex will begin at 2 p.m.

The building reopened this fall following a two-year remodeling process, which was funded through a bond issue. The renovations include suite-style rooms, as well as new "super double" rooms (housing two people). The Fine Arts Floor reopened in Corbin, while an International Floor is housed in Olson. New student lounges are available in both towers, while a new computer lab is provided on the Olson side and a game area is provided in Corbin. Each floor is outfitted with lounge space, and studio/practice space, and each floor houses its own laundry room. The largest change is the complex's renovated dining center and student commons area.

Corbin Hall was erected during the building boom of President A.L. Knoblauch's tenure. The eight-story hall, named for Mabel L. Corbin, cost $2.8 million and was move-in ready for 800 female students by September 1962. Olson Hall, once referred to as "Corbin's Twin," was completed in 1965, at a cost of $3 million. Named for Corbin's close friend, Blenda Olson, it housed 602 women. While still under construction, Olson Hall was dedicated Nov. 22, 1964, along with Corbin, Lincoln and Washington halls.

Blenda Olson and Mabel Corbin were hired in 1909 and 1910, respectively, by President Alfred E. Bayliss. Olson was the head of Western's foreign languages department during most of her 29 years at the University, while Corbin taught English and served as the Western Courier adviser for many years.

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