By Gabrielle Beacken
Once seen as the building on campus with quite the history behind it, Holman Hall, now demolished and soon beginning reconstruction, is one part of the College’s new STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) restoration project.
The new building will host the computer science department as well as other “multi-use instructional laboratories and multi-use event space,” according to TCNJ Magazine.
Renovations of Holman Hall, Armstrong Hall, the Chemistry building and the Science Complex are all a part of the College’s new STEM Complex project. According to the College’s Campus Planning webpage, the College presented this new STEM Complex proposal through the Building Our Future Bond Act. The act allows state-issued bonds to become grants for public and private New Jersey universities and colleges to build new academic buildings.
According to an article in The Star-Ledger from March 27, the new STEM project will cost an estimated $94.2 million upon completion. While approximately half the money will be derived from state funds, the College will borrow the other $47.2 million to complete the project.
Upon completion, the STEM building will host the School of Engineering and School of Science. Armstrong Hall, the Chemistry Building and the Science Complex will receive renovations as well, according to the College’s Campus Planning webpage.
The Chemistry Building will receive a $10 million expansion, the Science Complex will receive $18.2 million worth of renovations and Armstrong Hall will receive $15 million worth of renovations, according to The Star-Ledger.
But the rubble from the 87,000 square foot building will not go to waste. Certain materials, such as copper pipes, ductwork, glass railings, steel and metal doors, were extracted from the building before demolition and will be recycled.
“Right now, we expect between 75 percent and 80 percent of the building waste will be recycled,” director of campus construction Bill Rudeau told The Star-Ledger.
Holman Hall has allegedly had its own rich history. According to a Signal article from Nov. 1, 2011, it is campus legend that Holman Hall is buried on top of an “Indian burial ground.” The article references Robert Reeder Green’s book, “The Land Along the Shabakunks,” which details the revolution of the Shabakunks creeks to Ewing and to the College campus.
These chapters of the book claim Holman Hall’s haunted location. According to the article, the description provided in Green’s book coincides with the Lenni-Lenape burial techniques. The article shares that the Lenni-Lenape tribe in fact resided in present day Trenton and Ewing. According to the Trenton Times, Lenni-Lenape artifacts were found in Ewing in 2011.
Still, these suspicious Holman Hall tales have never been verified, but rather kept as one of the College’s notorious stories.
Holman Hall has certainly come a long way: first, haunted, then demolished and, finally, to be renovated. As for now, the first phase of the College’s exciting new STEM Complex is on its way.