Community welcome to Ribbon Cutting for Richardson Hall


Adams State University invites community members to help celebrate the grand re-opening of historic Richardson Hall, which was recently renovated through state capital construction funds. The ribbon cutting event begins at 4 p.m., Tuesday, September 8, in front of Richardson Hall's east entrance.

"Richardson Hall is once again a showpiece of the campus," said Adam State President Beverlee J. McClure. "We're confident this 90-year-old structure will continue to serve the university and the community for at least another century. We welcome everyone to join us for this historic occasion."

The ribbon cutting event will introduce eight San Luis Valley artists who were commissioned to create public art for Richardson Hall through the Colorado Art in Public Places Program. The program requires one-percent of capital construction funds for new or renovated state buildings be set aside for the acquisition of works of art at the project site. The artists featured include Bob Booth, Jeremy Elliott, Jasmine Little, Huberto Maestas, Kay Malouff, Evelyn McLean, David Montgomery, and Rita Roberts. Booth, Maestas, and Malouff are all graduates of Adams State's Art Department.

In addition, the celebration will feature two creative works that were commissioned to commemorate Adams State's 2012 move to university status. Music faculty and students will open the event by performing Ascendance, which was composed by Dr. Matthew Schildt, professor of music. The piece "captures some of my ideas about Adams State, about its energy," Schildt said. The sculpture Pillars, created by Professor of Art Dana Provence, was recently installed on the Richardson Hall lawn. Consisting of three forms made of hexagonal basalt, bronze, and stainless steel, it represents the three stages of Adams State: normal school, college, and university.

In addition to self-guided tours that will follow the ribbon cutting, guests are welcome to join in "Reminiscences & Nostalgia," an informal gathering in the new board room on Richardson Hall's third floor. Alumni and others will take a fond look back at the history of Adams State and Richardson Hall. Up to 50 vintage photos of Richardson Hall will be on display, demonstrating the changes and growth since its construction.

Bigger and better

The $16.9 million remodeling project caps $104 million worth of improvements completed on the Adams State campus since 2006. Richardson Hall's central wing was constructed in 1925, and it originally housed all of the college's classrooms and offices, as well as the library and the auditorium. The main objectives of the project were to replace electrical, plumbing, and heating/cooling systems to achieve energy and resource efficiencies, and to improve the building's accessibility in accordance with ADA regulations (Americans with Disabilities Act). Richardson Hall also sports new carpet, paint, furnishings, and finishes - not to mention building insulation. One major benefit of the project was reclamation of 11,000 square feet in the building's third floor, which had previously been unusable.

Adams State and the architects made a point of maintaining and restoring the building's historic character. The inscription, "Adams State Normal School" continues to grace the main entrance. The Luther Bean Museum, originally the library, was left intact, while upgrading the building's mechanical systems and structural integrity. The building's main lobby was expanded to its original size, and ornate wood trim was restored by art students under the director of Provence. Another component readily visible to passersby is the new roof, constructed with metal tiles that mimic the building's original clay tiles. Each new tile is an individual unit.

What's new in Richardson Hall:

  • 11,000 more usable square footage for a total of 75,000 sf
  • HVAC (heating/ventilation/air conditioning)
  • Electrical & fixtures
  • Plumbing & fixtures
  • IT: all new network cable
  • Windows = 225
  • Doors
  • Insulation = R25 (R50 in roof)
  • Interior finishes & furnishings
  • Roof: metal standing seam roof with metal tiles to mimic historic clay tile
  • Interior finishes & furnishings
  • Complete auditorium renovation: new seats, curtains, acoustic treatments


  • Tower repainted
  • Brick surface cleaned
  • Eaves repaired

By Julie Waechter