Holland House to jump the tracks next summer

by Andie Diemer
Sept. 16, 2008

He counted the number of times on his fingers. “One, two, three, four, five, six,” sociology professor Tom Arcaro said. In his 22 years at Elon, Arcaro has moved offices six times. But that number is about to climb to seven, when his current space in the Holland House is physically picked up and moved next to Johnston Hall on South Campus next summer.

“We knew all along it was moving when we started building the Academic Pavilions,” Arcaro said. “[Holland House] is in the footprint of the final building.”

Though there had been speculation for years, the news only officially broke last week.

Brad Moore, assistant director of construction management, said moving the building will provide additional office space on that part of campus and open up the view into the Academic Village from Haggard Avenue.

Senior Amanda Gross relaxes in front of Holland House before heading to her next class. The sociology building used to be to the right of the building before it was moved to accommodate the William Henry Belk Pavilion, which is currently there.
Senior Amanda Gross relaxes in front of Holland House before heading to her next class. The sociology building used to be to the right of the building before it was moved to accommodate the William Henry Belk Pavilion, which is currently there.

“A general contractor will work closely with a house mover and the railroad to move it from one site to the other,” he said.

While all of the plans are tentative and will not be finalized until the spring, Moore said there is currently no development plans for the existing site.

Currently, the Periclean Scholars department, leisure and sports management department, faculty and staff lounge and a few administrators from the admissions department are housed there.

Associate Provost Nancy Midgette, who is responsible for assigning departments and individuals to their buildings and offices, said she does not know where any of the current departments of Holland House will move to once the house is gone.

“The admissions piece will be moving into the Powell Building,” she said. “I don’t know exactly where we’re going to move the others. I’m going to do my best to have it sorted out before the truck gets here to move the house.”

The new location will serve as offices for the Alumni Relations team and the Alumni Center, Director of Alumni Relations Sallie Hutton said.
Moore said the move will also allow University Advancement to expand within Johnston Hall.

Because of department changes, the need for more or different space and new buildings being built, there is a constant shuffle around campus, Arcaro said.

“By their nature, college campuses are dynamic, living things,” Arcaro said. “Change is going to happen and you have to have trust in the people that steward the institution to make the right decision on how the growth and change occurs.”

But the entire house won’t make the trip.

“The back half is not going,” Arcaro said. “No more than half of the footprint that sits here now will be the footprint when it gets on the other side of campus. That’s partially because it would be bloody impossible to move the whole thing.”

The house, which once served as the president’s personal home, has experienced several additions since first being constructed. To ditch part of the house and go back to its original form is as logical a move as anything else, Arcaro said.

Arcaro said he had neutral feelings about the move since the change that usually happens at Elon has historically been for the better.

The McMichael Science Building now sits where a large Victorian house was knocked down.

“We had a lot of mashing of the teeth when it was being torn down,” he said.

But at the end of the day, no one will argue that McMichael is in the wrong place, Arcaro said.

“Certainly the history that goes into this house is worth preserving by moving it,” Arcaro said. “The institution of higher education is an organic entity that moves and changes and that’s the natural way of things.”

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