KU News Release


Feb. 9, 2010
Contact: Jill Jess, University Relations, (785) 864-8858

Spooner Hall to undergo $1.1 million exterior renovation

LAWRENCE — Spooner Hall, one of the oldest and most venerable buildings at the University of Kansas, will undergo a $1.1 million exterior renovation.

The project, scheduled to begin in early March, will be paid for by state repair and rehabilitation funding. Organizers hope to finish the project by the fall.

The project will help to preserve the 117-year-old building. Mark Reiske, associate director of Design and Construction Management, said a thorough condition analysis of the building’s exterior was done last fall. From the analysis, a scope of work was developed and presented to the state historic preservation officer, who approved the renovation. The Community Historic Preservation Board reviewed and approved the project as well. Nouveau Construction and Technology Services and the Western Construction Group will perform the work.

The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

Work will include consolidating and patching deteriorated stone and replacing capstones that are beyond repair. Spooner’s exterior will also be cleaned and waterproofed, and steel panels on upper walls will be repaired and coated to prevent further deterioration. Preservation and restoration of existing building materials will be at the forefront.

The building will remain open throughout the project.

Dedicated in 1894, Spooner Hall served as KU’s first library, until Watson Library opened in 1924. It later became the Spooner-Thayer Museum of Art. The Museum of Anthropology opened in Spooner in 1979, and the associated collections became part of the Biodiversity Institute in 2006. Spooner Commons was completed in 2007 as a joint project of the Hall Center for the Humanities, the Biodiversity Institute and the Spencer Museum of Art. Space on the main level now is used for meetings, workshops, symposia and lectures. The project included new wiring, lighting and furnishings.


The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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