Old business building to be demolished by end of school year

January 25, 2013

The old College of Business building is planned to be replaced for potential green space for the campus. - Photo by Tyler Brown


Staff Reporter


By the end of the school year, brick space should be replaced with green space where the old College of Business building now stands.


Sam Wallace, director of facility and support services, said that the old building has had some issues that needed tending since it was built.


“At the moment, there is a firm coming in that is removing asbestos-containing materials from the building,” he said. “When the building was constructed, asbestos was a common product used in a lot of the materials.”


Wallace said the materials would be disposed of properly and once it is finished, the contractor in charge of demolition will come and demolish the building.


“The reason we built the new building was because the old building had structural issues that required some repair or the building being abandoned,” he said. “The repairs were in excess of the value of the building.”


To solve all of the issues, Tech had to spend a little over half the value of building a new building, he added.


It has not been determined what will happen with the land after the building is torn down, but right now the plan is green space, Wallace said.


“It’s not a real good location for parking,” he said. “You’re at a 90- degree turn and there is not a lot of space to put cars.”


The general consent is to leave it as landscaped green space, which for a rural setting like Ruston and a campus like Tech, is very appropriate, Wallace added.


“If you look at the size, the building is right up against the road,” he said. “There is not a very large site between it, University Hall and Keeny.”


Students are happy to see physical improvements taking place on campus, especially Christopher Berry, a junior sustainable supply chain management major.


“I’m a firm believer in expanding campus and building new facilities,” he said. “It really helps with our publicity and recruitment.”


Berry said the old building was kind of an eyesore to our campus so getting rid of it will onlyhave positive effects.


“It will make Tech look better,” he said. “I believe Tech has done a great job implementing new facilities and by tearing this building down, we continue heading in the right direction.”


Wallace said he and some of the Tech administration have worked with some of the architecture students at Tech to form concepts for what could possibly be done with the green space.


“We’re talking about maybe installing an amphitheater or just another general meeting area for organizations,” he said.


Tearing down the old building will affect some of the surrounding buildings, but it will only be positive, Wallace said.


“It will improve University Hall because right now it is jammed up against it,” he said. “There’s some nice landscaping around University Hall and it has some nice features that you really can’t see because of the old building.”


He added it should not hinder the Wesley Foundation across the street in any way, but it may give it more visibility.


“I think it will also help safety in pedestrian crossing,” he said. “It will be a more visible entryway and people won’t be competing with cars as much.”


Wallace said there are a lot of things that need to happen before the demolition can be completed, but the general thoughts for a predicted completion date are in the April time frame.


There are a few different companies and firms who are part of the demolition process so they have to work with and around each other’s processes to be successful efficiently, he added.


“It is going to be a safer area and I think it is going to improve the aesthetics of that area of our campus,” Wallace said. “Down the road, there may be some landscaping but right now the final improvements have not been determined.”


Email comments to kjk016@latech.edu.


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