On Friday, the walls of McNeese State University’s Burton Hall started coming down with the help of shearer machines. (Rick Hickman / Special to the American Press)
(Rick Hickman / Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Saturday, August 11, 2012 9:51 PM
On Friday, the walls of McNeese State University’s Burton Hall started coming down with the help of shearer machines.
It is estimated that in about two or three weeks, the five-story building will be demolished. A multimillion-dollar residence hall will be built at the site at the corner of Ryan and West McNeese streets by a Lafayette contractor.
University spokeswoman Candace Townsend said the coming three-story hall will be open in the summer of 2013.
“This process is a new type that the state is using in awarding bids. One company gets the entire award. Before, jobs were broken into pieces. The idea is to speed up time from day one until completion,” Townsend said.
She said the demolition process is similar to the ones used on other university projects.
“Large chunks of the building are being taken out, and crews are loading the debris and hauling it away,” Townsend said.
School officials considered imploding the building, but that idea was nixed for fear of damage to other facilities near the shuttered building.
Burton Hall has been empty since 2005 because of damage left by Hurricane Rita.
“It appeared structurally sound, but there was a lot of interior damage. The roof peeled back during Rita. Power was off inside for three weeks and mold developed. Already there were asbestos issues,” Townsend said.
Earlier this year, the university completed paperwork that FEMA needed for a claim to be finalized, she said.
Once completed, the new hall will have a capacity of 150 students. Amenities will include a lobby, student lounge, computer lab and laundry room.