It’s out with the old and in with the new at Rockford University, as the college says goodbye to a campus staple.
After 45 years, McGaw Hall is bearing the signs of a building ready to be replaced. It has broken windows, boarded up doors, and cracked cement—all signs of wear and tear.
Matthew D. Phillips, Associate Vice President of Global Affairs and Operations for Rockford University, says instead of reopening the building this Fall, it will be torn down. “I'm hoping 8 weeks from today, we will have a grass hill behind me instead of a building," he says.
McGaw Hall was used as a dormitory from 1970 until 2004 and has housed as many as 210 students. However, damage to the building over time has caused the University to leave it vacant..
Phillips adds that the effects of a long winter have left it beyond repair. “It’s cheaper to tear it down than to fix it, but it's also not the right type of building [for a modern facilities]. Students today are looking for a different type of housing than the large dormitory," he says.
The building won’t come down all at once. Crews started gutting the interior Tuesday. Once that job is complete, the exterior will be demolished. Under normal circumstances, tearing the building down could cost around $600,000. "All of that cost is covered by the insurance from a massive water leak that we had happen at the end of winter," Phillips states.
Phillips says they plan to build more and better housing for students to replace McGaw Hall. “[The proposed building would have] large floor plans with seven stories, all identical. [We're] likely looking more towards [building] town homes," he says.
Rockford University doesn't have a design in mind for the townhomes just yet. Nevertheless, they do hope to have a master plan for the project within the next 12 to 18 months.