Northup renovations underway

All photos taken by Katie Paysinger/Senior Photographer

The plans to renovate the long-abandoned Northup hall are finally coming to fruition with construction that

started in early July and plans for completion in mid-June of 2011.

Work on the renovations has been progressing smoothly, Director of Capital Planning & Development

John Hall, said.

“We are implementing the plans that are the most current that we have to date, and the project’s moving

along fine,” Hall Said. “We plan on being completed, I would say, sometime around mid June. The building

will be open then for next Fall.”

Northup Hall used to house Linfield’s library but has been used for storage since 2003 when the library

was moved to the newly constructed Nicholson building near the Miller Fine Arts Building. Starting next

fall, Northup will be home to the business, economics, English and philosophy departments along with the

Writing Center and Linfield Center for Northwest Studies.

It was initially decided that the business department would be moved to Northup Hall to vacate Taylor

Hall in preparation for its own renovation, but the additional space in Northup was still open to other

departments or uses.

The additional departments were chosen after discussions with various faculty members and other school


“President Hellie wanted to make sure that the business department had other academic departments

that were with them, that they were not an island just to themselves, for good academic reasons,” Hall

said. “The departments that were determined that might be a good fit were the economics department,

philosophy, and English.”

The renovation of Northup Hall is only the start of a series of remodels of the academic quad (Northup,

Talyor, Murdock and Graf halls). Once Northup is completed, planning and work will begin on the vacant

Taylor Hall. Discussions about which department will move into Taylor are currently being held.

“Our goal, ultimately, is to tear down Mac Hall, build a new biology building, connect it with Graf, remodel

Graf and remodel Murdock Hall,” Hall said.

The project stems from a report compiled in 2005 about how to improve the college’s sciences. Hall said

it would take some time before everything was complete due to the time it takes to plan and raise money.

“This whole process may take 10 to 15 years,” he said. “There’s going to be this activity going on in the

academic quad area during that time, all in the effort to modernize our academic spaces and our science

labs, and to expand the science labs.”

The cost of the renovations to Northup Hall alone cost around $8.4 million, Hall said. This includes the

cost of construction, permits, furniture and other various fees.

The new Northup Hall will feature state-of-the-art technology and is the first Leadership for Environment

and Development (LEAD) building on campus.

“It’s going to be highly energy efficient,” Hall said. “It’s going to be able to be a healthier environment for

the occupants and users of the building, have a lot of special features in the heating and cooling system and

the ventilation system inside the building.”

There will also be a solar panel on the building and a flat screen monitor inside that will constantly display

the its energy output.

Currently, workers are done tearing down the walls that won’t be used on the inside of the building and

other demolition work around the outside.

Since the building is being redesigned rather than torn down and reconstructed, planning has been more

complex and more costly, Hall said.

However, he also said the recycling and redesign of Northup coincides with the college’s mission of

sustainability and reusing old materials.

Along with a plethora of new, advanced features, Northup Hall, built in 1932, will retain some of its

original, more charming aspects, such as an original fireplace in one of the reading rooms.

Hall has high hopes for the new building and expects students to enjoy the specially designed layout

once it opens for the next fall semester.

“Our architects did a wonderful job … of making the program fit and work,” he said. “We’re all very excited about it.”

Braden Smith/Managing editor
Braden Smith can be reached at

Print Friendly


If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.