By Eric Geller
The number of student residences will temporarily decrease next month following the planned demolition of the Wilson Apartments. Tom Lepley, director of facilities planning, said the building will be demolished at the beginning of next semester.
The students who currently live in the Wilson Apartments will move their property out of the building when they return from winter break, and then Lepley and his team will perform an asbestos abatement treatment, because there are trace amounts of asbestos inside the building and on its siding. The actual teardown of the Wilson Apartments will take place around the end of January.
Students from the Wilson Apartments will relocate to a North Campus Apartment (NCA) next semester. After the demolition of the Wilsons, an NCA will be built in the same place. Lepley predicts that construction of the replacement building will be complete in August.
The demolition is expected to cost between $8,000 and $10,000, while the new apartment building will cost at least $600,000, according to Lepley. Lepley also said that the new building will feature a geothermal heating and cooling system. After the Wilsons are torn down, workers will drill three geothermal wells on the construction site.
Lepleys records indicate that the Wilson apartment building was renovated in 1946, but he does not know when it was originally built. The College purchased the building in the mid-1980s. Now the administration, according to Lepley, wants to put a nicer building in place there instead of putting money in an old structure.
The plan to replace the Wilsons has been in the works for two years, according to Lepley. Originally, the plan was to build two new South Campus dorms adjacent to Hanna and Leonard Halls, but students expressed a preference for NCA-style buildings instead. The only reason this is happening is [to make] nicer places for students to live, Lepley said. A lot of the students in McBride and Mather were living in lounges. The aim of the new apartment building, he said, is trying to get back to the normal occupancy of the dorms.