Cochran Hall Restoration Underway

3392CochranHallWEB.jpgBETHANY, W.Va. — Work began in December on the redevelopment of historic Cochran Hall on the campus of Bethany College.

According to Dr. Scott D. Miller, President of the College, the project will return the facility it to its original use as student housing. Dr. Miller noted that the building has been sitting empty for several years. Most recently it served as a faculty office building.

Located at the main entrance to the College, Cochran Hall is nestled on a tree covered hill across from the student center and below the historic Oglebay Gates and Old Main.  The restoration will preserve the historic beauty of the structure, while providing modern amenities inside.

The project is a part of the College’s new 10-year, $68 million master plan “Bethany 2020.” The plan shapes the future look of the historic campus.

Zamagias Properties of Pittsburgh is coordinating the project.

“We’re delighted to be working with Michael Zamagias and his colleagues on the revitalization of this historic structure,” said Dr. Scott D. Miller, President of the College. “Cochran Hall has served many important purposes during the past 100 years and the renovation will blend beautifully with the main entrance to this historic place and provide needed housing for our growing student population. Bethany commemorates 170 years since its founding in 2010. This is a wonderful restoration project as we celebrate this special point in our history.”

“It is very exciting for us, particularly in these tough economic times, to be in a position to work with Bethany to help them fill their need for additional student housing. This has been a collaborative effort over the last year and having worked with their team, it’s not surprising to us that the College is growing” commented Michael Zamagias, owner of Zamagias Properties.

The over $4 million project encompasses the redevelopment of 15, 535 square foot Cochran Hall, built originally as student housing in 1910. Zamagias, working with PJ Dick as general contractor, will completely demolish the interior of the building and rebuild fully upgraded rooms that will provide beds for 72 students. Grand opening is scheduled for August, 2010, the 100 year anniversary for Cochran Hall.

For the past two academic years, housing has been at capacity, Dr. Miller noted. The additional housing will assist the College in selectively growing its residential population to 1,000 over the next three years.

Bethany, a small college of national distinction, was founded March 2, 1840 and is the oldest private college in West Virginia. For 170 years, Bethany College has been a highly contemporary institution based in the tradition of the classical liberal arts. The college is ranked nationally by Forbes, Washington Monthly, Barron’s, Princeton Review and U.S. News and World Report.