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VIA News: Three demolitions scheduled

Interior work continues on the Engineering and Physics Labs at Bennett Gym
Interior work continues on the Engineering and Physics Laboratories at Bennett Gymnasium.
When the weather begins warming up later this spring, three facilities on the Abilene Christian University campus will be coming down.
Starting next week, asbestos abatement will turn into full-fledged demolition for Walling Lecture Hall, with Chambers Hall and a much-used utility building set to follow soon after.
By the end of the semester, all three facilities should be gone.
The demolitions are the next – and, to date, most visible – step in the university’s $75 million Vision in Action initiative, which will result in five new science and athletics facilities.
Crews have been abating asbestos in Walling, said Scot Colley (’04), executive director of construction and risk management at ACU. With that process complete, they will move to demolition, beginning with utilities inside the lecture hall, which served thousands of science students and social club members for more than 40 years.
“You’re not going to see it immediately,” he said. “We’ll be in there pulling out gas lines and electrical.”
Nevertheless, plans call for Walling to be fully demolished by the end of February, clearing space for the expansion of Foster Science Building as it transforms into the Onstead Science Center.
As currently scheduled, demolition on Chambers would begin before the end of March. Crews currently are abating the asbestos in the 85-year-old former cafeteria, library, residence hall and academic building.
Chambers and a nearby facility that until recently housed WFF, the university’s contracted custodial services, will make way for the new Halbert-Walling Research Center, which will begin construction once fundraising for the project is complete. Demolition of the WFF building is scheduled to begin the week of March 2.
A new stadium for track and field, as well as soccer, is on schedule for an April 1 completion date, Colley said.
Meanwhile, the first Vision in Action project – the Engineering and Physics Laboratories at Bennett Gymnasium, a renovation of the 85-year-old former home to ACU’s basketball teams, intramurals and many a Lectureship gathering – is on track to complete construction in February.