Chandler-Ullmann Hall is newly improved after undergoing a $31 million renovations. This academic building is home to Lehigh's Psychology and Math departments who are both excited to be reunited with fellow faculty members after being displaced during the construction. (Shana Lichaw/ B&W Staff)

Chandler-Ullmann Hall reopens with renovated spaces and modern interior

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Improvements to historic Chandler-Ullmann Hall, amounting to $31 million, features renovated facilities to enhance academics for students and faculty.

The renovated building has six classrooms, two seminar rooms, faculty and undergraduate research labs, a tutoring center and flexible lounge spaces. The building also houses the psychology and mathematics departments, two popular departments on campus in need of a modernized facility. 

Amanda Brandone, an associate professor of psychology, was temporarily moved to Price Hall during the renovation. Psychology professors were housed in three separate buildings shortly after 2018 graduation until the reopening of Chandler-Ullmann in August. 

Chandler-Ullmann Hall is now updated with modern amenities such as air conditioning and new furniture. University architect Brent Stringfellow wanted to modernize the space and create a new academic hub. (Shana Lichaw/ B&W Staff)

“It’s nice to be back in our historic building, but the upgrades make it a lot easier to do our work,” Brandone said. “It’s nice to have everyone reunited.” 

The math department relocated from Christmas-Saucon Hall. The art, architecture and design departmentoriginally housed in Chandler-Ullmannwas permanently moved to Mountaintop Building C in July per a decision made by Provost Pat Farrell.

Brandone said the building was quiet before the renovation, which will change now with new student lounges and more foot traffic. 

“It’s nice to see students hanging out and working in these spaces,” she said.

Brandone’s office was in Chandler-Ullmann prior to the renovation, though she rarely had the opportunity to teach there. 

Hillary Winoker, ‘21, a psychology major, has two classes in Chandler-Ullmann this semester and does research in one of the new labs. 

“The classrooms are more comfortable to work in and overall the building looks nicer, she said. “I definitely like that the renovations are over because I didn’t like how there was construction going on in the middle of campus.” 

University architect Brent Stringfellow said the renovation was aimed to modernize the building by making it into an academic hub, while installing mechanical updates to include air conditioning.

The building’s renovations were first outlined in a 2012 plan. Chandler-Ullmann’s last renovation was in the 1970s when the chemistry department was relocated to the Mudd Building.

Before the designing process began, experts assessed how the building should be renovated to preserve its historic features, Stringfellow said. 

He said the most challenging and technical aspect was removing the large lecture hall, which was not accessible to students with disabilities. 

The renovation included several new classrooms, research labs, and common spaces to study. Students now have a place in the building to collaborate with peers, or get work done in a new environment. (Shana Lichaw/ B&W Staff)

“The construction process for the renovation was relatively free of drama,” Stringfellow said. “There were a few things here and there that were unanticipated, but all and all, it went quite smoothly.” 

Currently, historic images of the building are displayed on the television monitors to showcase its progress over the years. Programming on the monitors will soon include the building’s directory and department announcements. 

Chandler-Ullmann was originally designed by architect Addison Hutton with guidance from the head of Lehigh’s chemistry department at the time, William Chandler. Its state-of-the-art laboratories led to the building’s recognition at the International Exposition in Paris in 1889.

The Lehigh community celebrated the reopening on Sept. 4 with remarks from Farrell and Dominic Packer, associate dean for research and graduate programs in the College of Arts and Sciences. 

“Chandler-Ullmann didn’t feel like a home to psych majors, and now I think it will,” Brandone said.

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