Harris Hall to be demolished after 83 years

Reghan Bailey, Contributing Writer

Harris Hall’s demolition, which marks the end of one of the oldest dorms on campus, is set to be completed by mid-July to make way for new campus additions.  

The UA System board of trustees voted in November that Spring 2022 would be the last semester Harris Hall would remain standing. The University announced plans to build a new Fashion Design building and a new sorority house on the land currently occupied by Harris Hall and the Alpha Gamma Delta house.  

Built in 1939, Harris Hall was a co-ed dormitory named after Agnes Ellen Harris, dean of women at the University from 1927 to 1952. She also served as dean of the School of Home Economics from 1931 until her death in 1952.  

For 83 years, around 200 students would call Harris Hall home each year. 

Aaron Wilkes, a graduate student studying public administration and the Community Director of Harris Hall, shared heart-felt words about this home. 

No shade against other buildings, but being the Community Director over Harris Hall was unique, wonderful, and. . . the best experience. I was able to passively observe lifetime friendships form. That is rewarding enough. It truly is the end of an era for Harris,” Wilkes said. “In the time between then and now, Harris Hall remained a staple for many undergraduate and graduate students as an affordable and neatly located residence hall. She will be missed by those who have walked and lived within her walls.” 

Last year’s residents recounted fond memories about the dorm they called home 

Bella Governale, a sophomore majoring in communication studies, fondly reflected on her time in the dorm.  

Governale said she met her best friends and roommates for sophomore year there. 

Billy Farquhar, another sophomore majoring in business, recalled grilling with his friends, while Gabrielle Guenther, a rising sophomore majoring in news media, said, “there was never a dull moment” living in Harris. 

 Will Powell, a freshman, said, “I made friends that whom I’d consider to be my brothers. 

“The Harris Community was a big family that cared for each other and embraced the “suck” [disadvantages] of living there,” Powell said.  

However, the students agreed that Harris Hall’s living conditions were not up to modern standards.  

“One thing I wish people knew about Harris, the bathrooms and showers were worse than what everyone thought,.” Farquhar said.  

Bryant Welbourne, a Communications Specialist for the University, said Harris Hall’s demolition will take more time because the bricks are being preserved.