Welcome back Blair Hall

Flames thought to be accidentally ignited by construction equipment destroyed large parts of Eastern’s third oldest building two years ago this week. After 24 months more than $6 million to reconstruct the site, including an estimated $300,000 to restore the paperwork and files alone, the Eastern and Charleston communities officially welcomed back Blair Hall Monday.

A mere two years ago, administrators were facing uncertainty and the possibility of tearing down the building if the damage rendered it unsafe for students. Little did they know at the time that the building would be restored to its historical glory with complementary modern niceties.

Students, faculty and staff members of the Sociology and Anthropology departments, Graduate School, School of Continuing Education, International Programs office and Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, among others displaced by the fire, should be commended for their patience and determination through this trying time. This campus has seen and experienced firsthand the difficulties of being relocated across campus and the city. Some faculty members have had to carry what’s left of their offices in their arms day to day. Grade books, years of research and more than 1,000 grants were lost in paperwork and databases housed in the building.

Thanks to the building contractors and engineers, city of Charleston and Eastern’s administration and community, future students will be able to appreciate Blair Hall’s significance for years to come.