College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Marston Hall renovation: Moving forward while preserving the past

Sarah Rajala

Rajala_Sarah-head-shotMarston Hall has served as the home of our College of Engineering for more than a century. With its majestic limestone facade and grand rotunda, Marston Hall has long symbolized the distinguished reputation of our world-class college. When I arrived at Iowa State just about one year ago, I quickly learned the history of my new “home” – and the significant contributions of Anson Marston, our first dean.

This iconic building has undergone many repairs and improvements over its life, each narrow in scope to meet a specific need. Current students use the building to take classes, meet with advisors, work with student clubs and interview with recruiters for internships and jobs. Yet the space is out of date in terms of efficiency and utilization and not meeting the needs of our students.

After months of planning, we now we have a grand vision for how Marston Hall can reflect the college’s proud history and its role in educating future generations of engineers. I’m pleased to announce that the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, recently approved our renovation project and we will begin implementing our plans this spring.

In addition to updating the infrastructure and physical components of the building, the renovation will increase and upgrade the amount of space for classrooms and meetings and modernize the building with new technology throughout. Student services will be located for easy access, offices will be re-configured for better flow, and a new gathering/interaction area will provide a much-needed welcoming space. Historical aspects of the building will be recaptured and preserved and LEED Gold certification is anticipated.

When completed, the “new” Marston Hall will provide the ideal environment to support the exciting growth within our college for years to come! Due to the total reconfiguration of space, all occupants in the building will move to other locations on campus during construction. It will be an interesting two years as we experience this building transformation, but it will be well worth the wait!

This May, Anson Marston would have celebrated his 150th birthday. His legacy lives on in the College of Engineering and we are collecting “Marston Memories” to share on our college website. If you have a favorite recollection about your time in Marston Hall, please share it with us. You can also view videos and photos and stay updated on the construction progress.

As always, I appreciate hearing from you and look forward to your comments. It’s an exciting time in the Iowa State College of Engineering!