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Troy University prepares to tear down old residence halls and natatorium

Updated: May. 14, 2021 at 10:42 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A demolition project is about to bring big changes to Troy University. The last two traditional style residence halls and natatorium on campus are being torn down.

According to Herbert Reeves, Dean of Student Services, Gardner Hall will come down first, followed by the McDowell Lee Natatorium, and then Hamil Hall. The demolition is set to begin next week, and they hope to have the buildings flattened by mid-to-late August.

“They’ve not begun the actual knocking of the walls and roofs off of them, but they are stripping the buildings out of everything that needs to be stripped out before the demolition,” Reeves said.

Gardner Hall and Hamil Hall have been home for students living on Troy’s campus for over 50 years, and since 1976, the McDowell Lee Natatorium has offered an indoor Olympic-sized swimming pool for both casual and competitive swimming.

Reeves said every other residence hall on campus has been either renovated or built new. Gardner and Hamil Hall’s have double occupancy rooms and communal bathrooms.

“It’s just not the type of living that students today want,” Reeves said.

The university has also built a new student Recreation Center with an outdoor pool, meaning the natatorium is no longer needed.

Reeves said the cost to renovate the deteriorating residents halls and natatorium would cost the university millions of dollars, which is why financially it makes more since to tear them down.

“Just a small renovation would have been $3 to $4 million and that was just to upgrade the mechanical systems,” Reeves said. “It would be all the up way to $10 to $12 million to convert them into suites.”

How much it will cost the school to tear down the three buildings is not known. The university said they do not have a plan yet for what they will do with the empty space.

“Right now, the plan is just to tear the buildings down, clear the land, and leave it for right now until a decisions made on the future of that plot of land,” Reeves said.

“It’ll be strange to come by there and not see them, but I think it was the right thing for us to do was to bring those down,” Reeves went on to say. “And if we need to as we move forward build something new, something that’s more appealing to the student population.”

Plans are also underway for McCartha Hall to be torn down and rebuilt for the School of Nursing and Life Sciences. The university does not have a precise date on when that project begin.

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