Officials should renovate historic Old Main interior

Opinions Columnist | Journalism senior

Texas State officials need to begin renovating the interior of Old Main to complete the process of restoring a major university icon to its former glory.

As many students might have noticed on the first day of classes this semester, the renovations to the exterior of Old Main are finally finished for the most part. The construction project, which began in November 2012, included the replacement of the entire roof in addition to maintenance work to help stability. According to a Feb. 12, 2013 University Star article, the projected cost of the renovations was $1.8 million. While most students can probably agree the work done to the outside of Old Main makes the building look decades younger, the interior could use some attention as well.  

In 1902, Old Main became the first building to be constructed at Texas State. In the 112 years since the iconic building was built, there have only been two renovations to the inside of the building, according to the Texas State website.

Upon entering the massive, castle-like structure, one can spot many cracks in the walls and mold growing in the corners of the ceiling. To put it nicely— the building’s interior is pretty gross. Additionally, many of the bathrooms need some serious work done.

There are surely many mechanical, electrical and plumbing problems that need to be addressed and fixed. Although extra renovations would be a slight inconvenience for students who attend classes in Old Main, the decision to renovate would be worth the effort and the money. The exterior has already been completed, so it just makes sense to finish what was started.

The challenge in undertaking a project such as this would be to preserve the structure’s historical integrity while essentially repairing much of the inside. Of course, construction crews would need to be very careful not to ruin anything of significance or disturb the learning environment while this is going on. One way to achieve this would be to wait until evening when most classes are over to work on any construction. Though it is impossible to say nobody would be distracted by the restoration, there should be very few students or faculty members who would be bothered by the noise and cannot concentrate if the construction only took place in the evening.

Some might argue Texas State has already spent enough money restoring the roof and making the building look good on the outside. Regardless of the cost, however, the work that needs to be done has yet to be completed. Old Main is an icon at Texas State, and university officials need to spend the necessary money to finish the job.

Texas State is a beautiful campus with rich history and Old Main, as an iconic building, is central to that image. If university officials want Old Main to be beautiful and functional for another 100 years, repairing the inside of the building is vital.