Long-awaited demolition of Chambers Hall will officially begin Monday at 9 a.m. and continue throughout the rest of the semester.
The building has been part of campus for 86 years, but demolition will make room for the Halbert-Walling Research Center, a part of the Vision in Action plan.
“The construction site will be set off with fencing, and some commonly used pedestrian walkways will be affected. Please take note of those changes and plan your detours accordingly,” said Scot Colley, executive director of construction and risk management, in an email released by ACU.
Chambers Hall has been a library, cafeteria, residence hall and, most recently, an academic building, as well as a historical home to former students and faculty.
This spurred the decision for Kevin Roberts, the vice president of planning and operations, to offer a chance for people to come view the beginning of demolition.
“What we recognized is that this is a really important building,” Roberts said. “We want to make sure that everyone has a chance to kind of come and say farewell and wish it along its way. It’s an important part of our heritage and our legacy here, and we don’t want to gloss over that.”
The crew has been removing the balustrades from the top of Chambers Hall to preserve them as a memento from the old building, though there are no plans as to what they will be used for.
Throughout the process of Vision In Action, construction crews have been working to preserve as many trees as possible through fencing and protective mulching around the bases of trees.
However, the four trees lining Chambers will come down to make room for the new building. The crew will save the trunks to be used at a later time.
“We don’t want to lose the significance of ‘here’s what these things were,’ but there are some things we have to get rid of in order to build a building,” Roberts said.
The area will be mostly demolished by the end of spring break, but students won’t be able to see visible signs of construction until May.
“Once we’ve cleared everything off, we’ve got to come in and do all of the civil work,” Roberts said. “That’s making sure the electric lines are run and the plumbing is done. It’s all below ground and nobody ever sees it. There’s a ton of work.”
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