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2019 Volunteer First Impressions Contest Reveals

In early Spring, Facilities Services surprised students, staff and faculty all over campus with big checks and balloons to celebrate the selection of their submissions as Volunteer First Impressions contest winners! Each selected project was chosen to receive labor and upgrades up to $10,000 from Facilities Services, and the difference the contest has made on these 12 public spaces is amazing!

Throughout September, we’ve had the opportunity to celebrate these transformations with the people who helped make them possible. From our landscape team to our project nominators, we’ve all joined together to the cut ribbon on each project revealing what can happen when departments and people work together to make campus a better place.

The following improvements were made across each space. Click on the link for a short video clip showing the before and after transformations!

Jessie W. Harris Building – This building’s main corridor is a prime study spot for students looking to squeeze in a little extra education between classes. To make this environment more study-friendly, new furniture was brought in with swinging desktops, outlets were installed for laptops and the paint along the hallway was touched up as well.

Allan Jones Aquatic Center Walkway – This formerly worn pathway of gravel and dirt was paved and landscaped making it both safer and more attractive to visiting swim teams and fans.

Art + Architecture Building Entrance – The Art + Architecture Building is truly unique and beautiful, but the main entrance was in need of some work. It has now been pressure washed, the trim around the storefront has been painted and the doors have been re-stained and sealed.


Austin Peay-Hesler Breezeway – This project was unique in that it was not only aesthetic, but also life-saving. Here, a window film was installed to keep birds from striking the glass mistaking this space for an easy place to fly.

McClung Tower Elevators – McClung Tower is home to many important offices, and it’s elevators didn’t quite reflect that. The elevator doors were painted, and new interior panels and flooring are being installed. Updated directories will also replace the old ones.

Melrose Courtyard – This secluded space is surrounded by beautiful architecture, and is a great gathering place for campus groups housed in Melrose Hall. New tables were installed in this popular courtyard, and pea gravel was placed along walking surfaces. New plants were added to the landscape as well.

HPER – At HPER, new lighting fixtures were installed in the dimly lit breezeway to make it brighter and safer for students traveling through at night.

Greve Hall – Greve Hall is a small space, but these upgrades make a big impression! The lobby at Greve received new paint, new flooring and a chair rail that lends continuity to this entire building floor.

Tyson Alumni House – Tyson Alumni House is a beauty, but it needed some spring cleaning. Our team was able to clean their grand porches, making sure to touch every detail prior to applying a fresh coat or two of paint to both.

Dabney Buehler Courtyard – This open space has long been a gathering place for students, but until now, everyone had to sit on the concrete. Tables and benches have now been installed allowing for a more accessible space for all.

BESS Lab – Much like Jessie Harris, BESS Lab on the Ag Campus has a second floor corridor that’s become a popular place for students. Because of this, new furniture was brought in, outlets were installed and a foggy window was replaced to make this space more inviting.

Vol Hall Garage – Vol Hall Garage is the first stop of many visiting parents and prospective students. Because of this, the garage needs to create a lasting first impression. New paint was added to the garage’s columns as well as welcome signage and brighter LED lights.

Overall, the first-ever Volunteer First Impressions contest was a proven smash! Be on the lookout for an announcement about year two. We can’t wait to see what we can do together through the continuation of this contest.

To see all of the ribbon cutting photos, click here.