Smith Hall was named for Irma Smith of Macksville, Kansas. Listen to her grand-nephew speak about Irma and urge KU to reconsider demolishing Smith.
KU and the State of Kansas benefited from the good will of the donors who built Smith Hall, as well as the private organizations that maintained the building's exterior while renting it to KU for $1/year for decades. Read more about this history in the article below. KU purchased the building in 1998.
It takes a community to save a building. As friends of Smith Hall, we encourage you to write to Chancellor Girod, Provost Bichelmeyer, University Architect Mark Reiske, and each member of the Kansas Board of Regents.
Write from the heart and make a thoughtful case to persuade KU from moving forward with the planned demolition. Ask them to leave the Department of Religious Studies in Smith Hall and maintain the building's historical use.
A list of decision makers and their email addresses is shown below:
We also encourage you to contact your legislators and let them know that you oppose the demolition of Smith Hall. Tell them that the limited public dollars available for addressing deferred maintenance at our universities should not be spent tearing down buildings that are in good condition -- especially those with historical and artistic significance. Ask them to ensure that the process the Kansas Board of Regents uses to make decisions about demolishing public buildings is transparent, consistent, and gives a meaningful voice to the public.
You can find your legislators here: https://openstates.org/
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