Friday, May 6, 2011

Strange doings at Reed McDonald

A few weeks ago, ace investigator Kelly Brown '89 sent me some mysterious goodies from campus: a pic of the exterior of Reed McDonald and one of a large tank of liquid nitrogen which she says "now sits outside Reed," plus a video from inside the elevator, which she notes "got a face lift, but the building did not."

I believe what's going on here is RDMC's conversion into a snazzy new chemistry lab building. An architecture firm called PGAL has a Web page describing such a project here, and of course RDMC is right across the street from the current Chemistry building and the "Chemistry Fountain"/H2O Fountain, best known for having exuberant chemistry students turn its waters into maroon or varicolored foam.

Reed McDonald, for any of you New Army punks (I kid! I kid because I love!), is the rathole part-chemistry/part-journalism building where strange experimental happenings as well as our wonderful journalism professors and the Battalion itself were stored for many years. The Batt had upstairs offices with windows until somebody started shooting at 'em; well, I'm sure that's not the real reason, but it is true that in later years the Batt newsroom was down in the sunless, airless, joyless basement. For many years, in fact, we could say that while the A&M newspaper was put together in an ugly burnt-orange building, at least the tu paper was produced in a maroon building.

A new Humanities and Liberal Arts building is underway -- groundbreaking was set for early this year and completion is set for July 2012. It will be located in a fairly prime spot: close to the circle drive at the "front" of campus. This description (which also includes a rendering of the building) says it's between the Jack K. Williams Administration Building and the Glasscock Center. I marked those two buildings on this map, so you can see where the new Liberal Arts building might fall between the red arrow-thingies: