WATCH: Demolition underway on Bemis Lawrence Hall

Published: Sep. 6, 2019 at 4:36 PM CDT
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Friday morning students, staff, and faculty at Western Kentucky University gathered on campus to watch history as demolition started to bring down Bemis Lawrence Hall.

Both Bemis Lawrence and Barnes Campbell will be torn down to make room for two new residence halls to be built.

It's all part of the first-year village, a 10-year plan for Housing and Residence Life to improve the on-campus housing.

"As we looked at what some of our buildings that were older buildings that needed to, you know, kind of come down and have other buildings put in their place we looked at the buildings that were most in need of doing that, kind of the older buildings that had aging infrastructure, those kinds of things," said Assistant Vice President for Student Engagement and Executive Director for Housing & Dining, Mike Reagle.

The 48 million dollar project will build new pod-style housing. The first building holds 260 students and the second holds 375 students.

Demolition of Bemis Lawrence Hall at WKU

Posted by WBKO Television on Friday, September 6, 2019

"What we did was we worked with architects at that point on what did we want to build back in that place and looked at doing a first-year village that will allow us to have students who are living in pod type arrangements that have more interaction with faculty and things like that, so we are just really excited about what this project will do for the campus," said Reagle.

Officials said all asbestos was removed before demolition started and water is being sprayed on the building to minimize dust.

Crews estimate 350 truckloads of material from the demolition will be recycled for different projects.