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University of Alabama Hopes to Build Advanced Fashion, Design Facility

Tue February 22, 2022 - Southeast Edition
Tuscaloosa News

Drummond Lyon Hall will be located on Colonial Drive at the site of Harris Hall, a resident hall that is set for demolition. (University of Alabama rendering)
Drummond Lyon Hall will be located on Colonial Drive at the site of Harris Hall, a resident hall that is set for demolition. (University of Alabama rendering)

Plans are in the works to bring a leading-edge fashion and design facility to the University of Alabama (UA) campus in Tuscaloosa.

Alabama's College of Human Environmental Sciences (CHES) announced plans recently to build Drummond Lyon Hall, which will house its fashion retailing and apparel design program.

The Tuscaloosa News reported that construction on the Colonial Drive building is expected to begin in the fall, pending final approval from the UA board of trustees.

The facility is being named after Terri Drummond Lyon, a 1986 UA graduate, in honor of her support for the project.

"This is a tremendous opportunity to provide our students with the best resources and facilities to create their pathway to success in fashion and design," Lyon said in a news release. "It is my honor to be one among many who are answering the call to support CHES and the university, and to help bring their vision for the future of the apparel and textiles program from conception to reality."

The 25,000-sq.-ft. building will become part of a CHES hub, which will include nearby Adams and Doster halls.

Once construction is complete on Drummond Lyon Hall, the new fashion and design facility will include the Fashion Archive, which will house a collection of garment and textiles through history, along with a conservation laboratory, exhibition galleries, two modern studio classrooms, flex space for receptions or lectures and offices for fashion retailing and apparel design faculty.

The new hall also will be designed to have dedicated spaces for apparel conservation and hands-on learning.

The university plans to host symposium-type events for the fashion and retail industries within the new building, the News reported.

The project was made possible by $4 million in charitable gifts raised with the support of UA alumni, the CHES Leadership Board and other supporters.

"The university is thankful for the philanthropy of alumni and friends, especially Terri Drummond Lyon for investing so meaningfully in the lives of our students," said UA President Stuart R. Bell in a statement obtained by the News. "Our students deserve the very best facilities where they can hone their talents and prepare for successful careers after graduation. This new building for our fashion and design programs will provide the exceptional experience necessary for our students to thrive."

Through its press release, UA said the fashion and design facility will stand out when compared with similar merchandising programs offered at other Southeastern Conference schools.

"We have no doubt that when completed, Drummond Lyon Hall will take our exceptional apparel and textiles program to even greater heights," noted Stuart Usdan, dean of the College of Human Environmental Sciences. "It has the potential to open minds to new experiences and influence students, alumni, researchers, and entrepreneurs in a variety of fields, from fashion to marketing and history ... creating leaders who make a difference in our world."

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