YELLOW SPRINGS, Ohio— Antioch College has announced that it will demolish two buildings on campus. The College’s Board of Trustees has approved the demolition of Mills Hall, a former dormitory, and the Student Union. This decision comes after a recommendation from the College’s architectural firm, MacLachlan, Cornelius & Filoni, Inc. (MCF). The College has been working with MCF on a campus master plan for more than a year.
The College will be removing asbestos and other environmental hazards from Mills Hall prior to the demolition so that these hazards are not released into the atmosphere. This preparatory work will begin in early November 2013 and it is expected that the building will be down and all rubble removed by the end of the month.
The College received a $42,000 grant to partially fund the asbestos removal in Mills Hall. In addition to structural damage and deterioration of Mills, small room sizes, narrow corridors, undersized restrooms and the lack of elevators make conversion to modern accessibility requirements exorbitantly expensive. Further, a lack of community space, kitchen space, and older construction with minimal insulation and single-pane windows made its conversion into a green building highly unlikely.
“We expect that many alumni and friends will have a number of fond memories of these buildings,” notes President Mark Roosevelt. “However, as mindful as we are of our rich heritage, the new and better ways in which we are articulating the college experience at Antioch require us to make bold, informed decisions about our campus to make it both viable and sustainable in the 21st century.”
Mills was originally erected in 1959
The Student Union was built in 1957 and housed generations of Antioch students, as well as the Antioch Inn, for over 50 years. Over time, however, and through the College’s closure, the building has deteriorated to a point where it’s structural integrity and functional usability are significantly undermined by the existence of extensive mold, asbestos, and large roof leaks that have resulted in extensive damage within the building.
Consulation with the College’s architects revealed that renovation of the Union would require new windows, new roofing, new heating and cooling systems, and significant reconfiguration of interior space to meet current accessibility requirements. Therefore, it was concluded by both the architects and the Board of Trustees that the cost to renovate the Student Union to a usable state would be prohibitive and demolition was recommended and approved.
The College is currently researching grant opportunities to fund the asbestos removal and demolition expense. As a result, no date has yet been set for environmental hazard removal or demolition of the Student Union.
The building will be altered slightly in the meantime to accommodate fire safety regulations recommended by the Yellow Springs fire chief. The “Transient Mode Home” signage on the front of the union will be saved and placed in Antiochiana.
Plans are currently under discussion about how to best commemorate the Student Union for alumni and friends prior to its demolition.
Assistant Director of Communications