The disgraceful windows of LSU’s Hatcher and Johnston halls

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Rusted window of LSU’s Hatcher Hall

By Robert Mann

LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva has said that when he first arrived at LSU, he was struck by the poor condition of Tiger Stadium, particularly its rusted and broken windows.

“So we launched the campaign to replace every window in the facility, beginning with the north end where thousands of fans gather each Saturday to see the football team and the Tiger Marching Band march down Victory Hill,” Alleva said in 2010. “We only have one Tiger Stadium. We’re not going to build a new Tiger Stadium. It’s our venue. It’s a great venue for watching football, but we need to take care of it.”

The Tiger Stadium Windows Project was a huge success. Within no time, the Tiger Athletic Foundation raised the money to replace 428 windows in the stadium at $2,000 each.

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Plaque on the east side of Tiger Stadium

Today, Tiger Stadium is a sparkling facility, the result of hundreds of millions in renovations and additions over the past five years. The stadium is, undoubtedly, the most treasured and important building on the LSU campus — far more significant to the citizens of Louisiana than the Middleton Library, which has fallen on hard times.

 

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New windows on the east side of Tiger Stadium

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East side of Tiger Stadium


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East side of Tiger Stadium. Even some of the more unsightly portions of the stadium have new windows


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New windows on the east side of Tiger Stadium

 

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New windows on the east side of Tiger Stadium

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Screenshot of Tiger Stadium windows during the window replacement project (Screenshot from Preservedeathvalley.com)


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Screenshot of Tiger Stadium during the window replacement project (Screenshot from  preservedeathvalley.com)

 

Across from my office in Hodges Hall, I can see Tiger Stadium and the building next door, Hatcher Hall. It rests literally within the shadow of Tiger Stadium. Among other things, Hatcher houses the LSU Speech & Hearing Clinic, Academic Programs Abroad, LSU’s Global Program and LSU International Services. 

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The view of Tiger Stadium from my office window in Hodges Hall.

Hodges Hall also has windows. Unlike Tiger Stadium, however, these are windows for faculty and staff offices that are used almost every day, not only a dozen days of the year. University officials tell me they want to replace the ugly, rusted windows in Hatcher Hall — and also those in Johnston Hall (south of Hatcher) — but state money for that is not available. (Among other entities, Johnston Hall houses LSU Press and LSU Disability Services.)

When Tiger Stadium needed 428 new windows, those who cared about the appearance of the stadium and who are devoted to the team that plays on its field, rushed to cough up $2,000 for the honor of replacing a window in the hallowed building.

Next door, however, the situation is much different. Honestly, who cares about what goes on inside Hatcher and Johnston halls? Who would possibly contribute the money to replace windows in those buildings?

“Of the remaining older buildings that still need window replacements on campus, these two are some of the top priorities,” an official at LSU Facility Services said in an email message relayed to me by University Relation. “I hope to obtain necessary funding to do at least one of these in the next 12-24 months with the other one to follow as funding is available.”

Let’s hope that money materializes.

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The front of Hacher Hall


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Hatcher Hall window


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Hatcher Hall window


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Hatcher Hall window


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Hatcher Hall window

 

Next to Hatcher Hall is Johnston Hall. Its windows are also in deplorable shape. The university has no funds to replace them.

 

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The front of Johnston Hall

 

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The north side of Johnston Hall

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Johnston Hall window

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Johnston Hall window


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Johnston Hall window


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Windows on the front of Johnston Hall


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Johnston Hall window

 

Hodges Hall, where I work, has newer windows that are not rusted out.

 

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The front of Hodges Hall

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The “new” windows of my office on the 2nd floor of Hodges Hall

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My office window in Hodges Hall


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“New” windows on the south side of Hodges Hall

 

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6 Responses to The disgraceful windows of LSU’s Hatcher and Johnston halls

  1. jechoisir says:

    I have posted your columns on the decay at LSU—-and attendant health hazards—to my Facebook page, and when alumni grow wrothful that such could happen, I refer them to the governing board of the university, their state senators and representatives, the president of the university, and, poor soul, our new governor. I’ve told them: start a campaign. Until some of them do that, I see nothing good happening. The Governor’s sober remarks make me believe we will not find a lot of funds in the state’s coffers. At the end of Wm. Faulkner’s “Absalom, Absalom!” Quentin Compson is asked by his ahistorical Canadian roommate at Harvard, “Why do you hate the South?” The question is one Quentin would not have posed himself. He replies, “i don’t hate the South. I don’t hate it! I DONT hate it!” I feel like that about Louisiana. It’s been a long time in coming, the realization.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. John Thomas says:

    Both Johnston and Hatcher have been used for “swing space” for departments whose usual areas need renovating or for governor’s transition teams. Johnston has been the long-time home of Orientation and other first-year programs, which every new and transfer student must attend, and Disability Services. Unlike Hodges, Johnston has never been renovated, Hatcher had some work done and housed (last time I checked) International Programs and Office of Strategic Initiatives, a minority student-focused academic area. Without question, these areas are important for the university, with its constant focus on recruitment, enrollment, retention and graduation, yet these departments are housed in chilly, leaky buildings, with taxed electrical connections, and questionable ADA accessibility.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. EllioTT1225$$ says:

    I’m an older than average student who took a gap year than lasted 35. I’m a Communications Studies major taking my last three hours. During the summer of 2014, I took a class in Coates Hall. Shortly before the end of the semester, Baton Rouge experienced one of its periodic gully-washing, toad-strangling thunderstorms. The next day, after most of us had piled into class, our instructor hurriedly walked in, taped notes to the doors, and instructed us to follow her to another classroom in the basement of Prescott, where we held class for the remainder of the semester.

    I don’t know the extent of the damage Coates sustained on that rainy day, but I understand there was water on the third floor, and leaks were evident on the second.

    To be fair, since a started once again on this journey, I have seen tremendous improvements. I can actually find the building where my class is, because there is a real sign there now! The lighting is awesome – no fears walking around at dusk.

    How can a university be great when these very basic problems are not solved? Maybe the next round of strategic planning should focus not strictly on the future, but on remedying the neglected details of the past.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Andrew Sluyter says:

    Say what you want about Penn State, Sandusky, Paterno, and that whole scandal, but Paterno donated a large proportion of his salary and did a lot of fundraising for academic buildings on campus. A prime example is the Paterno library. I don’t know what his salary was but doubt it equaled those of today’s SEC coaches. Does anyone know if any of LSU’s coaches have ever done the same? Or other SEC coaches? It’s up to them if they want to, of course; but it could earn them a cool nickname like JoePa and naming rights to a wing of the library.

    Great series on an important topic, by the way!

    Like

    • rtmannjr says:

      Thanks for the kind words. I cannot imagine in a million years someone like Les Miles donating the funds to endow a library. But one can always dream! I guess, on the positive side, we don’t have coaches molesting boys. Look, I have no problem with private donors giving money to buy new Windows for rooms in Tiger Stadium that are never used. More power to them if they can raise the money. BUT, how many donors does anyone think we could find, at $2,000 a pop, to restore the windows in Hatcher or Johnston?

      Like

  5. jechoisir says:

    Vince Dooley, retired coach at the University of Georgia, continues to donate to academic programs both at UGA and Auburn, where he took his masters in history. While coaching and in his glory days, he took credit courses toward degrees in horticulture and allied fields. Probably more importantly, he participates actively in various academic fund-raising drives. But Dooley was a scholar before he was a coach and never gave up learning. I suspect, like Paterno, who I think took the fall for university officials, he is one of the exceptions.

    Like

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