The closure of the Atkin-Colby/Hamilton-Whitten residence halls doesn't mean ISU won't be using the buildings. The high cost of installing mandatory sprinklers means the 50-year old dorms can no longer house students over night. University Business and Finance Vice President Dan Layzell says engineers are looking into repurposing the complex.
"Is the facility such that we could make use potentially of lower floors for classrooms, for office space or conference room space when we have major renovations for example when we finally do get the money released for the fine arts center."
Layzell says ISU will know in a month or two whether it can get three to five years more use out of the structures. Based on costs Western Illinois University recently incurred to tear down a large building, Layzell says it could cost ISU seven to nine million dollars to tear down the South Campus facilities. The campus master plan eventually calls for using the space to build a new College of Nursing building.
Support Your Public Radio Station