Classic Signals: College reevaluates residence hall demolitions

Every week, Features Editor Alyssa Gautieri hits the archives and finds old Signals that relate to current College topics and top stories.

College makes the decision to demolish Centennial and Norsworthy Hall. (Alyssa Gautieri / Features Editor)

In 2004, the College reported that Centennial Hall would be demolished within the year. While students expressed sentimental feelings, they were eager to see the old building replaced with an updated residence hall. The College also said Norsworthy Hall would be demolished in 2005. Fast forward 13 years and both buildings still stand. In the Fall 2016 semester, the College announced that Travers and Wolfe halls might be demolished. However, upon hearing both the students’ and alumni’s opposition as well as considering what was generally best for the College, it was recently decided that the Towers would, instead, be renovated. Students, alumni and faculty are now left to wonder if the College will ever demolish a residence hall.

To satisfaction of many rising sophomores, Centennial Hall will be demolished this summer after 50 years in operation, making way for freshman housing that will better accommodate the First Year Experience.

Construction on new housing for approximately 500 students will begin in March 2005 and should end in August 2005, she added.

Discussion of tearing down Centennial began several years ago. Due to its maintenance problems in the past and aged appearance, Centennial has the most notorious reputation of all the College’s residence halls.

“There’s a very short life left in the building,” Stafford said. “We’re better off if it comes down and we build something new than if we try to renovate it.”

Freshmen seem relieved by the elimination of the possibility that they might live in Centennial if they happen to receive a low number in the housing lottery.

“It’s good because students should be comfortable and nobody wants to live in a crappy building,” Justin Roberts, freshman opens options business major, said.

Though some residents of Centennial admit having had such an impression of the building before moving in, they said that the residential experience is not as negative as many think.

Chris Cirone, senior computer science education major who works as an office assistant and for hall security in the building, also takes an optimistic view.

“As ugly as it may be, it’s got a lot of character,” Cirone said. “It’s so different from other residence halls.”

Sentimental attachment to the building is another factor.

“I’m kind of upset because my first two dorms are not going to be here next year,” Mike Chiumento, sophomore English secondary education major, said.

Last year, Chiumento lived in Norsworthy, which will be demolished after Centennial in January 2005. Its replacement will also house around 500 students.