Video: New look for the new school year

College of Public Health and Human Sciences students heading to class this fall will notice some of their classroom buildings have gotten a facelift.

In an attempt to please the eye of most students, faculty, staff and visitors, Oregon State University maintenance managers decided to focus their efforts on improving entryways to buildings, this summer in particular, Milam Hall and Langton Hall.

“I think it’s a good way to welcome students. It’s like saying ‘Hey, welcome here. We care enough about you to make it a pleasant experience,’” says Oregon State University Maintenance Manager Joe Majeski.

Due to a lack of funding, crews didn’t have enough money to paint the entire building. So instead, they got creative.

“We thought, well let’s give the best first impression we can give, and the best first impression is the front door,” Majeski says.

Creating that unforgettable first impression takes a lot of work. Milam and Langton halls were both built in the early 1900s and have seen better days.

“Milam Hall, it needed it because there were some issues with the roofing right over the porch and it caused water to actually seep into the concrete and then literally push the paint right off the walls. I mean chunks of paint were falling on people’s heads when they walked through the door, so that wasn’t good,” Majeski says.

Langton Hall wasn’t much better. Over the years, workers have attempted to paint the building, creating a mismatch of colors and leaving it incomplete.

That’s where Oregon State Painter David Cross comes in. He’s spent most of the summer working on the two buildings, washing, scraping, priming and painting. It’s work that goes beyond a maintenance level, transforming the buildings into pieces of art, while maintaining their historical value.

“I believe the architect had a real statement for something he wanted to say at that time about this building, what it was being used for, and I think over the years we lost that view. My attempt is to find what that architect was saying and bring it back in a dignified way,” Cross says.

The goal is to re-paint all of the main entryways on both Milam and Langton halls, creating a sense of home for those at Oregon State.

When students come back, they want to take their photos in front of these buildings because they feel connected to them. They become part of their history, Majeski says.

“My goal would be that people identify with the entrance of the building,” Cross says. They look for Milam and Langton’s entrances and their unique flavor and character instead of looking for signs, he added.

“We have an eye to the past and yet we’re looking ahead,” Cross says.

Once these projects are completed and additional funding is available, crews plan on turning their attention to the Women’s Building.

  • Dorothy Roholt

    Exactly 30 years after graduating with my B.S. in General Home Economics, I returned to OSU six years ago to earn my Masters in FCSE. Aside from the trees and shrubs on campus being much taller, I also noted how run down the front doors, steps and foyers looked on many of the long-established (older) buildings on campus. I am thrilled to read in this Synergies article that Milam and Langton Halls will be showing their best face to students, alumni and visitors!