From The Tribune staff reports
JACKSONVILLE, Ala. — Jacksonville State University announced it expects a new Merrill Hall to open in August 2021. The original building was destroyed by a tornado on March 19, 2018, when an EF-3 tornado struck the campus.
The state-of-the-art facility is a modern version of the 48-year-old building that was destroyed. It will include a 300-seat auditorium, a three-story atrium and common space, 12 academic classrooms, a finance lab, a Career Development Center, job interview rooms, team working areas and offices, including a Dean’s suite.
The 105,000 square-feet building will serve as home to the JSU School of Business and Industry.
Construction is on schedule and has reached the halfway point, according to the university.
“We’re very excited about moving into the new building this summer,” said Dean Steven McClung. “We believe it will give our students access to the latest technology and facilities, providing an education that will make them extremely competitive in their fields. The facility will benefit all of our students in Applied Engineering, Business and Communication.”
Opened in 1970, Merrill Hall was named in honor of Rep. Hugh D. Merrill of Anniston, who was instrumental in helping change the status of JSU from a teachers’ college to a state college and ultimately to a respected university. He also served as president pro tempore of the JSU Board of Trustees for 12 years, from 1968 to 1980.
The JSU School of Business and Industry houses the departments of Applied Engineering, Communication, Management and Marketing, and Finance, Economics and Accounting. It is also home to the Small Business Development Center, the Center for Economic Development and the Center for Economic Education. The school is accredited by AACSB International and offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees, including a top-ranked online MBA. For more information about the school, visit http://www.jsu.edu/business/index.html.