Frist Hall is one of many buildings that make up the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s campus. Originally donated to UTC in 1985 by Thomas F. Frist Senior, the owner of the hospital giant HCA, the building has been a part of UTC’s campus life for almost thirty five years. In 2014, the building was condemned and deemed unfit to house classrooms or offices any longer at UTC. Frist Hall has significant structural issues that have led to flooding and electrical malfunctions. According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, $800,000 in student parking fees was set aside for the demolition of the building, and plans to reutilize the space for more student parking was set in place. Full original story released in 2014 by the Times Free Press: https://www.timesfreepress.com/news/local/story/2014/jun/16/utcs-frist-hall-to-be-torn-down/249919/
Fast forwarding to the present year of 2020, Frist Hall still stands. It is currently the home to the UTC Communications department, as well as the Disability Resource Center, and multiple classrooms. Upon entering the building it is easily identifiable as dilapidated and unkept, and there has been no parking lot addition. These conditions have raised concern in many of the students and Professors in the Communications department, who have had no choice but to work in the space as it was designated to them by the university. Macy Wilbanks, a recent Communications major graduate, gave her insight on the years she has spent in Frist Hall. “Frist has been condemned by the city since 2014, that is why the re-accreditation team visited last semester. If they didn’t have construction started on a new building we were going to lose the COMM department.” No word yet on if the COMM department has received their accreditation, but no new developments have been started to house them.
So far, no COMM Professors have commented on their own experiences at Frist Hall, but the conditions they have endured have been no secret. This department is filled with well seasoned, passionate Professors who deserve proper accommodations comparable to those of the other departments. To read more about the UTC COMM department use this link: http://catalog.utc.edu/preview_entity.php?catoid=10&ent_oid=303&returnto=231
Photo Provided By UTC’s building directory.