Sheridan Hall

Sheridan Hall

Fort Hays was the only state school to receive a legislative appropriation for a building in 1915. Nearly doubling the classroom space on campus, Sheridan Coliseum was completed in 1917, but without a ceiling. The building included a gymnasium on the ground floor, with seating extending around the arena to the second story of the building. A small swimming pool was also located in the southwest corner of the building on the basement level. Funds were appropriated in 1917 to equip the building and to build a steam tunnel to bring heat to the building. Final completion of Sheridan Coliseum occurred in 1922 when the legislature appropriated funds to put in a ceiling. Prior to that time, the ceiling consisted of some 3,000 yards of muslin that the students in the Domestic Arts classes had sewn together for a temporary ceiling in 1919.

Computer programming was added to the curriculum in 1963. Keith Faulkner was hired as the Director of the Data Processing Center, later renamed the Computing Center, and the department was established in Sheridan 209.

Planning for a complete renovation of Sheridan Coliseum began under President Tomanek. However, before the state would provide the funds needed to complete the renovation, private funds had to be raised for the required match, and this had not been completed. Also, the bids for the renovation were $2.5M high for Phase II. President Hammond set to work to complete the renovation. A gift of $750,000 by Ross and Marianna Beach and Bob and Pat Schmidt provided the necessary private funds for the completion of the building. A state-of-the-art performing arts center was included and was named the Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center. The 1,114-seat center ensured that Fort Hays State would continue to be the cultural center of western Kansas. The renovation of Sheridan Hall was completed in 1991 at a cost of over $9M.

Offices presently housed in Sheridan Hall include: Administration & Finance, Budget & Planning, Business Office, Career Services, President's Office, Provost, Assistant Provost for Quality Management, Academic Affairs Marketing, Purchasing, Registrar, Student Affairs, Student Fiscal Services, and University Relations.

The building is named in honor of General Philip Sheridan who was stationed at the Fort Hays military post in the 1800s. This was in accordance with the custom of university president, President Lewis, in naming buildings for military figures associated with western history.

Back to top