The religion department will relocate from Ashby House to Kanbar Hall this January.  The house, which was built in the 1840s, is no longer suited to hold large quanities of books and files on its upper floors, posing problems for professors with office space in the building. 

Dean for Academic Affairs Christle Collins Judd said there is “no structural issue with the building.” 

While Ashby has been deemed unsuitable for the needs of professors who currently have offices there, it poses no real immediate threat to them. Judd said many of the problems exist because Ashby was originally built as a residence hall.

“It is a residential house and so, structurally, having academic offices with many, many bookcases and many, many files is just not what the building was built for,” said Judd. “We recognize that it is not the best place to have lots and lots of bookcases and files on the upper floors.”

Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration Katy Longley said that the building may require construction for later use. Whether or not such changes will be made will be decided by the Board  of Trustees on October 16 and 17.

“We have to fix it structurally and...think about who will go in there, but it’s premature,” said Longley. “We’re still doing an investigation of how much we need to fix, how much it’s going to cost to fix it. We’ll have to go to the board for approval.”

Judd and Longley were both unable to comment on which professors in Kanbar will be required to move in order to make room for religion professors. It is not yet clear where those moved from Kanbar will be relocated. 

After the religion department moves out, Ashby—whether renovated or not—will likely house administrative offices. 
“We will use it for administrative purposes—that doesn’t require all of the books and faculty,” said Judd. “[Ashby] was built as a house. It was built as a home. So it is fine for administrative purposes.”

Members of the religion department declined to comment on the move. However, Judd said that she feels certain the move will not have a negative impact on the department.

“Obviously, nobody likes to have to pack up your books and move, but the College will take care of that,” said Judd. “The department will have a good location as they go forward and access to good academic resources. So I think it’s a positive move for the department.”