North Campus Restoration Project
North Campus Restoration Project includes demolition of Hunt HallNews contacts:
Tim Seydel, Vice President, University Advancement
Laura Hancock, Communications Coordinator, University Advancement
LA GRANDE, Ore. March 22, 2017 – The first phase of a major capital construction project at the north end of Eastern Oregon University’s campus begins later this month.
Effective Wednesday, March 29, the lower section of the Hunt Hall parking lot accessible from the 12th Street entrance will close to accommodate salvage, abatement, and eventual demolition and restoration of the original women’s dormitory site. A fence will be installed around the perimeter to ensure safety and will block access to the parking lot.
The work follows completion of a thorough study of Hunt Hall conducted by the university that determines the cost to repair and renovate the aging building exceeds the price of new construction.
“With the plumbing, steam lines and electrical systems not up to current codes, the lack of an elevator for ADA accessibility as well as other access issues, the massive retrofitting the building would require just isn’t feasible,” said Luke Aldrich, North Campus Restoration Project manager.
The decision to tear down Hunt Hall was not made quickly – or lightly – with EOU looking at ways to save the building for over 15 years. Aldrich is currently leading a team to re-envision a use for the large space after the 72,300 square-foot building is gone.
Possibilities being discussed by the North Campus Restoration Team include enhanced parking and visitor access, including walkways, and opening up views of the valley and mountains surrounding EOU’s campus.
A public presentation updating the campus and community on the project is scheduled from 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 4 in Huber Auditorium in Badgley Hall. Organizers are inviting input on Hunt Hall history during the meeting.
“Restoration of the site is obviously an important component of the project,” Aldrich said. “The team is going to great lengths to ensure we memorialize the building and minimize disturbance in this culturally sensitive area.”
Total cost of the project is $2.985 million, with funding provided by capital construction bonds allocated through the state legislature. EOU is working with W.C. Construction, Inc., and the demolition and cleanup is expected to be complete by fall term.
Most of the building has been closed since 2014. The first wing was constructed in 1939 and originally named Dorion Hall in honor of Marie Aioe Dorion, the sole female member in a cross-country expedition to the Pacific Northwest in 1910. This wing has been vacant since the 1970’s.
A section was added in 1948 when it was renamed Hunt Hall in memory of the Wilson Hunt Price group that Marie Dorion was traveling with. Another wing was added in 1955 and a final section was built in 1963.