Jamestown College dedicates Liechty Center Taber HallA crowd of more than 100 witnessed Clarice and Reuben Liechty cutting the ribbon Friday at the new west side entrance to the Liechty Center Taber Hall at Jamestown College.
By: Toni Pirkl, The Jamestown Sun
A crowd of more than 100 witnessed Clarice and Reuben Liechty cutting the ribbon Friday at the new west side entrance to the Liechty Center Taber Hall at Jamestown College.
This first phase of the renovation and restoration of Taber Hall was due to a $1 million donation from the Liechtys. The renovation included gutting and remodeling the ground floor level, restoring the main floor lobby, adding an elevator and a new official entrance to the building’s west side.
The administration and admissions facility was constructed in 1913 as the main building on campus. At that time the main entrance to the college from the valley was a roadway on the south side of the campus that climbed the hill near the stadium. Because it was going to face that roadway, then-President Barend Kroeze designed Taber Hall with “a grand front entrance,” said Jamestown College President Dr. Robert Badal.
“Nettie McCormick (who funded the construction of Taber Hall) called it ‘an extravagant front entrance,’” Badal told the audience. “Now it’s the building with two ‘extravagant front entrances.’”
“Wow. I’ve always wanted to build an extravagant entrance,” Reuben Liechty said as he began his remarks.
Coincidentally, it was the Liechtys who donated the funds 14 years ago to add the sign to the west entrance to the college. Located at the top of Hospital Hill, it evolved over the years into the main entrance to the campus. But that meant Taber Hall’s unpretentious back door turned into its front door. Now, with the renovation completed the west-side entrance to Taber Hall looks as grand as the east-side entrance.
“This is a great day for the college,” said Dick Hall, president of the JC alumni association, after the ribbon cutting. “The renovation is meeting a need that was long overdue. Admissions is now an ideal facility.”
The admissions department is in the newly renovated lower level and is reached through the west-side entrance to Taber Hall. It includes a welcome center for new students at the bottom of the stairs, something the college has never had before.
Perhaps the most important addition to Taber Hall made possible by the Liechtys donation was an elevator. Before the dedication, Tom Heck, vice president of business affairs at Jamestown College, said the new elevator is making it possible to use all three floors of the building.
“We’re happy it’s done and very pleased with it,” Heck said. “Before, we had to move a class out of the building to a handicapped accessible classroom if someone had a disability.”
Jim Unruh, chairman of the board of trustees, thanked the Liechtys for their contribution and service to Jamestown College. Clarice is a 1983 graduate and Reuben has served 22 years on the Jamestown College Board.
“The Liechtys have been tremendous supporters of the college,” Unruh said. “You’ve made a difference. We appreciate your support in the renovation of this landmark building.”
In her remarks, Clarice Liechty said there were many other alumni who have been donors. She named several who contributed to additions and new buildings on the campus.
“They donated their personal resources to build up this college,” she said. She ended with “Thanks for coming and honoring Jamestown College and our family.”
Sun reporter Toni Pirkl can be reached at (701) 952-8453 or by e-mail at email@example.com