MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - After 14 years of renovations and work, Huntingdon College's campus at the old Cloverdale school is finally complete.
"First coming in the classrooms weren't really nice, but they really upgraded them. We now have hardwood floors, we have plasma screen tvs. A lot of new things going on," said John Iwaniec, a junior.
Iwaniec is an exercise science major and star football player at Huntingdon. He spends much of his time on the Cloverdale campus and has seen the facility change right before his eyes.
"The old Cloverdale campus has opened a lot of doors for students, one being me. I'm a football player, if it wasn't for the old Cloverdale campus, I probably wouldn't be here," Iwaniec said.
That's because without the Cloverdale campus many programs wouldn't be possible, including football. The college acquired the old school in 2001, taking on a $10 million project to renovate the campus into what it is today.
The campus now houses W. James Samford Jr. Stadium and Charles Lee Field; Dr. Laurie Jean Weil Center for Teacher Education and Human Performance; Leo J. Drum Jr. Theater; Pro-Impact Physical Therapy and Sports Performance; James W. Wilson Jr. Gymnasium; football, volleyball, wrestling, and athletic training facilities; and AISA offices.
"We have turned it into a state-of-the-art campus not only academic programs, but athletic programs and co-curricular programs," said J. Cameron West, President of Huntingdon College. "Our largest group of majors are housed academically in the facility, so really almost 30 percent of the student body goes to class there primarily in that facility every day."
School leaders believe the renovations have an impact beyond just Huntingdon -- changing the entire Cloverdale area as it continues to develop and grow.
"It has completely revitalized that part of the neighborhood," West said. "We have taken an old facility and renovated it, the way you want old facilities to look and hopefully we'll be an encouragement to other owners of businesses in the area to do the same thing with their facilities so that Cloverdale will to continue to grow and be a vibrant part of our city."
"Speaking on behalf of those of us who live and work in Cloverdale having a building that is an iconic building in the community, the Cloverdale School, and having had it be closed and now be opened and now be renovated and now be available to the community is huge," said Lawson Bryan, Senior Pastor of Montgomery First United Methodist Church and a Huntingdon trustee. "It creates a sense of community and it opens a pathway to the future."
Renovations were completed just prior to the beginning of the 2015-2016 academic year.
When asked what took so long, West says it took time to gather all the donations and finally finish the vision.