The year 2022 brings several new building projects to campus. The planned Holland-Waller Center will replace the Ganus Building, which was built in 1951 in honor of then Chairman of the Board C.L. Ganus Sr. At the time, it was a student center and bookstore, but it now houses the departments of history & political science and foreign languages & international studies. Both departments will continue to be housed in the new facility along with the ROTC program, Office of International Student Services, Walton Scholars program, Sino-American Studies Institute and English as a Second Language program. To continue honoring the Ganus family, Harding will create the C.L. Ganus Sr. Department of History and Political Science.
The interior of the Holland-Waller Center will feature displays in recognition of the contributions made by women to the University. “Sue Locke Holland and Joella Sample Yurcho Waller (the mothers of Suzanne and Rodney Waller) are examples of the thousands of mothers and grandmothers who have prayed and sacrificed to send their children to Har-ding,” said Dr. Bryan Burks, vice president of university advancement. The building will be located near the women’s residence halls, and a second-floor glass student lounge will provide a view of the front lawn to the north and a view of the First Ladies Garden to the west. With a front entrance situated at a 45-degree angle and an extended brick sidewalk complete with cohesive landscaping, the building will connect the center of campus with Legacy Park.
In addition to the $4 million contributed by the Waller family, the University has received a challenge grant from the Mabee Foundation of $2 million and has one year in which to complete the fundraising. The Ganus building will be razed in June with construction on the new building to begin in August. The facility is expected to be completed and open for use in fall 2023.
Also in summer 2022, upgrades are planned for Benson Auditorium. The original heating and air conditioning units will be replaced to assist in maintaining air quality and temperature. Power systems in the stage area will be upgraded to ensure safety during productions. There will be new paint and carpet, and the current restrooms will be combined, providing double the space for the new women’s restroom. A new men’s restroom will be added on the east side of the lobby, replacing current office space.
In spring 2022, a new track will be constructed near the intramural fields on Beebe Capps Expressway. Following the spring track season, the existing track will be removed, and renovations to the football field will begin. These renovations include replacing the eight-year-old turf as well as moving the field closer to the home stands to provide an enhanced experience for Bison fans. The visitor stands also will be moved closer to the field. The next phase of this project includes building a new concession stand with restrooms and is anticipated to begin in spring 2023.