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Herring reopens as university arboretum


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STEVEN SOLOWAY/Arizona Daily Wildcat
After a year-long restoration, Herring Hall is reopening its doors as the home of the UA herbarium. The rededication ceremony will take place today at 9 a.m.
By Allison Dugaw
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, September 3, 2004
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UA President Peter Likins will ditch his PT Cruiser today, and instead will arrive to the rededication of Herring Hall in a horse-drawn carriage.

Since people used horse-drawn carriages 101 years ago when the building was constructed, it is an effort to bring the campus back to its roots and celebrate the history of the building, said Randy Ryan, assistant director for the Agricultural Experiment Station and manager for the renovation of Herring Hall.

After a yearlong refurbishing, the second-oldest building on campus - after Old Main, which was built in 1891 - will reopen its doors as the new home of the UA Herbarium and the Campus Arboretum.

The rededication ceremony, at 9 a.m. today, is sponsored by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and will include tours of the building and refreshments.

Likins, Arizona Rep. Jim Kolbe (R) and the dean of the College of Agriculture will speak at the ceremony to honor the history and future of the building.

"Here we have a building that represents the foundation of our university," Ryan said. "It says, 'Look how far we've come in 101 years.'"

And the building has come a long way.

Originally built in 1903 as the Men's Gymnasium, Herring Hall has since housed a wide variety of programs.

Interior changes over the years have made it a women's physical education gym, a theater for the drama department, a radio-television studio and classrooms for the journalism department.

The four-columned, red brick building located at 1130 E. South Campus Drive, was designed by mechanical arts professor David H. Holmes.

According to the College of Agriculture's Web site, Holmes used Roman Revival style "to represent a sense of permanence to the fledgling university campus."

The building was constructed for $6,675, of which $5,000 was donated by Copper Queen Mining Company in Bisbee.

Col. William Herring, legal counsel for the company, arranged the contribution, and the building was named for him.

When construction began in March 2003, the interior of the building was ripped out, and a new three-story building was built in the original shell of the structure, Ryan said.

In the process, modern heating and cooling systems replaced the steam heater and evaporative cooler, and the electrical system was brought up to modern safety codes.

An additional four vertical feet was also added to the basement and true foundation replaced the original cemented rock and dirt.

Now, Herring Hall will be home to the Campus Arboretum and the UA Herbarium. The herbarium is a scientific museum preserving more than 450,000 specimens of plants, claiming to be the largest collection of plants from the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico.

Jaime Yoshimura, a public management senior, works at Herring Hall doing database entry for plants, and she said she is excited about the rededication of the building.

"People have been seeing construction for a while, but aren't sure what's going to be there," she said.

"I think this rededication will open people's eyes to what an herbarium is, and to knowing resources are available."



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