Campbell landmark gets new life

March 4, 2010 | 1 Comment


Buies Creek, N.C.-A ribbon-cutting ceremony held for Kivett Hall on Thursday, March 4, signaled a new life for the historic building that has been the symbol of Campbell University for over 100 years. The ribbon-cutting marked the end of the first phase of a renovation that will be completed in May.

While modernizing the old building, the renovation maintains Kivett's historical significance and turn-of-the-century charm. Kivett will be the new home of Campbell's English Department, as well as provide additional offices for Computing Services and Distance Education. Writing labs and book stacks for Campbell's main campus library will be relocated to Wiggins Hall, which is connected to Kivett.

The 107-year-old Kivett Hall literally rose from the ashes of the original Buies Creek Academy which burned in 1900.The fire that devastated the school, also devastated the spirit of founder J.A. Campbell who dreamed of an outstanding academic institution. Enter contractor and builder Z.T. Kivett, described as a "steam engine in britches" in the book "Big Miracle at Little Buies Creek." Kivett pulled Campbell from his bed of disillusionment and urged him to start over. He even supplied a major portion of the labor and costs to rebuild. In 1903, a new Buies Creek Academy, christened Kivett Hall, was ready for occupancy.

"This day is filled with memories as much as it looks forward to the future," said Campbell President Jerry M. Wallace during the ribbon cutting ceremony. "The renovation has had challenges, but the building that stands here today has been through a century of challenges and we are here to celebrate its past and its future."

According to Jim Roberts, Campbell's vice president for Business and Treasurer, construction was done on the front of the building's roof trusses, wall supports and structural elements. The first floor repair included replacing the floor joists and footers, reconfiguring the office space to make full use of the building's massive palladium windows and reconfiguring the entry way to make it more functional. Throughout the building, ceilings, floorings, walls and doors were replaced.

"This is an excellent step forward," said Roberts. "To have the English faculty and library in the same building with writing labs-it just makes sense. It will be a lot easier for our students to access the resources they need."

The renovations to Kivett Hall and Wiggins Hall, as well as additional archival space in Carrie Rich, will help increase the library's square footage by nearly 90 percent.

English major Katherine Richards thanked the Campbell University Board of Trustees and the administration on behalf of the students.

"This building's history and aesthetics not only reflect what Campbell is, but what it can become," she said.

Photo Copy: From left, Dr. Mark Hammond, dean of the Campbell University College of Arts and Sciences; Bob Barker, chairman of the Board of Trustees; Campbell President Dr. Jerry M. Wallace; English major Katherine Richards and Dr. Frank Vaughan, chairman of the English Department, at the ribbon cutting for the Kivett Hall.


I am personally very pleased that the decision has been made to restore Kivett Hall.  As a Kivett descendent who came to this knowledge later, rather than sooner, I would never have known the historical value of a Kivett legacy if the building had been allowed to completely deteriorate.  My heartfelt congratulations to all who saved the hall.  Sincerely, Patty Ament, Colorado

By Patty Ament on March 26, 2011 - 11:23pm

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