Triad demolition to start soon

Among the 20 construction projects SIU will see during the summer, Allen, Boomer and Wright halls are set to be knocked down in less than a month.

The demolition itself will cost about $3 million and is scheduled to be complete before the fall 2012 semester.

Most of the student housing around the campus is old and needs to be replaced, Chancellor Rita Cheng said. The demolition of the Triads, which housed 204 students, is one of the first steps in a process the university is taking in order to upgrade housing. The Triads were built in 1965.

Stacey Preston, of Murphysboro, cuts scrap metal out of old heaters Tuesday outside Boomer Hall. Envirotech, one of many contractors hired to work on the Traids residence halls, removes recyclable materials before the buildings are demolished. New residence halls are expected to be built in their place during the next 10 years. Chris zoeller | Daily Egyptian

“Every campus needs to take care of their infrastructure and buildings are built to last a useful life, most of the buildings on the campus that are not academic units were intended to have a life of 50 to 75 years, of course the buildings like Anthony Hall and Quigley and some of these older structures you can’t even really afford to replace today,” Cheng said.  “So we’re doing a lot of things, either we’re building new or we’re rehabbing existing work.”

This new master plan scheduled to last until 2023, will include the demolition of Brush towers, upgrades to Thompson Point, and new student housing to replace the Triads and Brush Towers.

Cheng said there will be five-or-six new buildings built, depending on enrollment numbers in years to come. The buildings should have a life span of about 30-to-50 years and will house 400-to-450 students. Each of the buildings are estimated to cost about $26-to-$29 million.

She said the school chose to demolish the Triads because it would be more cost efficient to get rid of the old and build new, according to Mackey Mitchell, a firm that has built student housing for many universities including SIUE and the University of Notre Dame and was hired by the university.

Allen hall was the last of the Triad buildings to be in service with about 200 students during the spring 2012 semester. Boomer hall hasn’t housed students since 2007 and Wright since 2010.

Alexis Kimbrell, an undecided junior from Albion, lived in Allen hall in the 2011-2012 school year and said living conditions were simply not up to standards and she’s happy to hear the school is upgrading its facilities.

“It was a horrible experience, the buildings were neglected, they were unsupervised and it was very unwelcoming,” Kimbrell said. “I mean I never really stayed at my dorm because I was so uncomfortable living there.”

Lori Stettler, assistant vice chancellor for auxillary services, said these uncomfortable living conditions will be eliminated to make way for newer buildings that will add to the image of the university, rather than take away from it.

“It’s about the integration of living and learning, an opportunity for students to do more in their living space that compliments the academic experience,” Stettler said.

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Austin Flynn can be reached at aflynn@dailyegyptian.com or 536-3311 ext.252.

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