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Moving in: Baylor School of Social Work joins bustling scene in downtown Waco

Dec. 15, 2010

(Editorial in Dec. 15, 2010 Waco Tribune-Herald. Subscription required for access to wacotrib.com )

We had some concerns that the 34 faculty and staff members of Baylor University's busy School of Social Work might have misgivings about moving into the old Wells Fargo bank building downtown this week. After all, they were putting behind them the beauty of the Baylor campus.

Nonsense. When we dropped by to see how the move-in was going in the 800 block of Washington Avenue on Tuesday, we found a thrilled, very committed bunch. And why not? The Baylor campus may be beautiful, but then beauty counts for only so much when your digs are on the bottom level of a parking garage - which is where Baylor's School of Social Work has been based.

During those years in the garage, they endured everything from auto exhaust to one of the worst infestations of termites in town. Besides that, faculty had to fan out to o ther parts of campus to teach class because the parking garage offered only enough room for offices. the one plus: plenty of parking.

Allow us to be the first to welcome the Baylor School of Social Work downtown. Their move leaves behind 7,000 square feet of space in a parking garage and opens up to them 34,000 square feet spared across three floors, with enough room that each faculty and staff member has his or her own office. During our visit, associate professor Jon Singletary was reflecting on Washington Avenue from his office window. The move into the neatly renovated building also allows for classroom space for nearly 300 students.

Diana Garland, dean of the school, labels the move further evidence of Baylor's strengthening ties with Waco. That said, we've seldom seen a group of scholars so absolutely giddy about their new digs.