Governor Proposes Funding for McDowell Renovation
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan proposed that St. John's College receive $2.5 million in funding for the renovation of historic McDowell Hall on the Annapolis campus.
The funding, announced January 10, is part of the governor’s 2017 Student Debt and Tuition Relief Initiative, which includes $8 million for higher education projects throughout the state. The money still must be approved by the legislature.
McDowell Hall was erected in 1744 and most recently renovated in 1989. It includes 14 classrooms, the Great Hall, student mailboxes and coffee shop.
The renovation is very much needed, says St. John’s Treasurer Joe Smolskis.
“It will be a much better learning environment for the people who are in there—comfort, lighting, all those kinds of things—and obviously it will look a lot better,” he says.
The renovation will include the replacement of and/or upgrades to the building’s electrical and technology systems, heating and cooling systems, restrooms, plumbing, elevator, floors, roof and exterior brick.
Work is slated to begin following the end of the spring semester and last six months. The building will be closed during the renovations, and temporary classrooms will be set up on campus.
While the state would provide a portion of the funding for the roughly $6 million project, the rest would come from gifts and private grants. An anonymous donor has issued a 2:1 challenge, with an invitation to alumni and the broader St. John’s community to help complete the renovation.