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Former dean of ACM remembered

Dr. Wilson (Bill) Barnes

Dr. Wilson (Bill) Barnes, who retired this past June as dean emeritus of the School of Architecture and Construction Management, passed away on Sun., Sept. 9, in Pittsfield, Mass.

Dr. Barnes joined the faculty of SPSU in 1995 as an associate professor of construction. Since then, Dr. Barnes had “remained a superior teacher and continued to show an extraordinary commitment to the university, and his focus on the professional development of his school was dynamic throughout his career," according to Dr. Zvi Szafran, vice president for Academic Affairs.

In 1966, Dr. Barnes was appointed a research fellow in construction at Harvard College, where he earned a Master in Architecture in 1968. He enjoyed a lengthy career as an architect and engineer before his arrival at SPSU and won a merit award from the American Society of Landscape Architects and a Commendation for Design Excellence jointly awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Dr. Barnes was president of the American Council of Construction Education (ACCE), a national accreditation organization, in 2003-05 and had been a member of the ACCE Board of Trustees and Executive Committee since 1997. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Georgia chapter of the American Institute of Architects from 2010-11.

Dr. Barnes graduated from the U.S. Military Academy with a bachelor’s degree in Engineering in 1954 and served in the U.S. military, retiring as a colonel in the Army Reserve and a member of the Legion of Merit. He had diplomas from the U.S. Army Command, General Staff College and from the National Defense University’s National Security Management Program. He earned his Ph.D. in construction law and practice from the University of Central England in 2000.

Dr. Barnes was appointed as dean of what was then the School of Architecture, Civil Engineering Technology and Construction Management in July of 2001 and served in that capacity for 11 years. The school boasts the only nationally accredited professional Bachelor of Architecture in Georgia – a five-year degree that includes two years of design foundation and three years of professional courses – and one of the longest-running construction management (CM) programs in Georgia. The school also boasts some high-profile student competition teams, a fact illustrated by a huge victory this spring when CM students won the national Mechanical Contractors Association of America Student Chapter Competition.

He contributed chapters to three books, one of which has had its third edition published this summer. He also had numerous papers and research reports published and was invited to make dozens of presentations over the years.

“Bill’s focus was always on the built environment, especially in the area of adaptive reuse,” said Dr. Szafran. “When everyone was talking about tearing down Building I and replacing it with an engineering technology building, Bill had a different vision of adaptively reusing it as studio space. The I-1 and I-2 design studios on this campus are the result, with I-2 having won multiple awards and I-1’s renovation scheduled for completion in a few weeks. That is a fine legacy.”

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