STILLWATER, OK (AP) They’ve been a home away from home for thousands of Oklahoma State University students for 30 years, but on Jan. 31 Willham North and South residence halls started coming down brick by brick as demolition got under way.
The dormitories, opened in 1966, will be replaced by six new suite-style buildings with 850 beds built on the same site. Completion is scheduled for August 2006.
A wrecking ball started work on the north tower as OSU officials and Willham alumni gathered nearby. Demolition should last about six weeks.
Bob Huss, director of residential life, said the public will be able to watch the progress of the demolition through a web cam mounted on a building across the street that will transmit pictures.
Willham Hall is named after former OSU President Oliver S. Willham. Willham North was taken off-line in spring 2003 and Willham South was closed at the end of the fall semester.
When it opened, Willham Hall was considered state-of-the-art. Maximum occupancy for both buildings was 1,400.
OSU’s Residential Life has spent more than $100 million over the past five years to build and renovate campus housing, Huss said. Demand has increased 31 percent since construction of the new housing.
Huss said the new housing will not increase OSU’s capacity. “The intent of the housing is to keep our campus capacity as it had been in 2003 which was about 2,500,” he said.
Huss said demolition of the Willham towers will leave OSU with six traditional residence halls: Kerr, Drummond, Wentz, Parker, Iba and Stout.
“There are still those students who prefer the traditional residence halls,” Huss said.