The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
13C - Fall 2014
~University to demolish North Hall
former East Quad
Repairs to current
By ARIANA ASSAF
SEPT. 23, 2013 - South Quad
Residence Hall might look a bit
rough right now, but another
building on campus will have
North Hall, the buildingthat
currently is home to the Uni-
versity's ROTC programming,
is set for demolition, pend-
ing approval by the Board of
Operations Officer Wayne
Doyle said the building is being
torn down because repairs to
the current building would be
University spokesman Rick
Fitzgerald said the building,
located on North University
Avenue near the C.C. Little
Building and the Museum of
Natural History, is "more than
a little old."
North Hall was built
between 1899 and 1900 as the
Homeopathic Hospital Build-
ing, according to records from
the Bentley Historical Library.
It has housed ROTC programs
Fitzgerald said plans for
demolition and reconstruction
of North Hall will be up for
approval by the University's
Board of Regents next month.
Therefore, he could provide
only limited information at the
"It's been in development for
a long time," Fitzgerald said.
"It's a project that will try to
solve multiple problems on
Lt. Col. Allana Bryant, a pro-
fessor of military science, said
ROTC programs will be relo-
cated in May, and the building
will be torn down in June. It's
not clear where the ROTC pro-
gram will be held during con-
Fitzgerald declined to
comment on the timeline of
construction, but said more
information will become
available once the project is
Nursing junior Meghan
Conger, an Army ROTC cadet,
said she spends several hours a
week at North Hall because it's
the meeting place for almost
all of her ROTC activities. She
added that she's disappoint-
ed the building will be taken
down, as she thinks of it as a
"It's a very unique building
with a lot of purpose, and it's a
building that's special to cadets
and midshipmen because it's
solely for ROTC operations,"
Conger said. "Not alot of other
students know about it or can
Conger was surprised by the
decision to raze the building,
because she thought it was in
good condition. She said the
building's basement isn't in the
best condition, but the class-
rooms, lounges and offices
appear to be in good shape.
"The building is undeniably
old-looking, but I think it has
a lot of charm," Conger said.
"While the building is getting
older and we can undoubtedly
find another area for us, North
Hall holds a lot of memories
and will be missed."
ROTC decommissions program home
and alums honor
North Hall before
By MICHAEL SPAETH
For the Daily
JULY 11, 2014 - Friday,
members of the University's
Reserve Officers Training
Corps held a small ceremony
on the front lawn of North Hall
to pay tribute to the building
they called home for 74 years in
advance of its scheduled demo-
The building is being demol-
ished to make room for the
new 300,000-square foot
Biological Science Building,
approved by the University's
Board of Regents in February,
which will house the Depart-
ment of Molecular, Cellular
and Developmental Biology,
the Department of Ecology and
Evolutionary Biology, and col-
Natural History, Paleontology
and Zoology museums.
.,At the event, current and
retired members of the Univer-
sity's Air Force, Army and Navy
ROTC units adapted the tradi-
tional Naval decommissioning
ceremony, which signifies the
end of a Naval ship's active ser-
vice, to mark the end of North
Hall's service to the University.
Captain Joseph Evans, pro-
fessor of Naval Science and
Commander of the University's
Naval ROTC, said though the
building was never commis-
sioned as a ship, it served the
same symbolic purpose.
"North Hall, much like any
naval ship, faithfully served
us all and all of us who ever
worked inside her walls knows
well that it's formed a personal-
ity all of its own, full of charac-
ter and spirit," Evans said.
He added that in a sense the
building was a vessel, not for
traveling on water but for the
training of students.
1899 and 1900, and is the sec-
ond-oldest building on campus
still in use after the President's
House. From 1900 to 1922, the
building served as the Uni-
versity's Homeopathic Hospi-
tal. It then became the South
Department Hospital after the
idents concerned eline Higgins, an RC junior and
East Quad resident adviser, said
ut crowding,LOss she had a very positive experience
living in the old East Quad.
communityin "It was a blast. The community
.bi iwas just really great. There was
new building a lot of art work on the walls -
murals and stuff; it just had a great
By EMMA KERR personality," she said.
For the Daily Higgins added that her experi-
ence with the new East Quad has
V. 4, 2013 - Since the been similarly positive thus far.
ing of East Quad Residence "Coming back from West Quad
is fall, students have begun has been a great experience;
der what exactly the reno- everybody is a lot more open here,
s $116-million price tag has especially because of the layout of
t them. The transition to the building," Higginssaid.
ew" East Quad has not been Though students complain
t significant adjustment about how the RC has changed
ustration. Students in the with the renovation of East Quad,
ntial College have called Levine sees the changes as "com-
uad home since 1969. - plicated."
e complain that the RC has "The new building definitely
a large loss as a community matches the University's goals
the renovation. However, for the future, and I think there
RC students who experi- were a lot of problems with the
East Quad before it was old building, like structurally
for renovations unanimous- and health-code wise, for sure,"
e that, even if just for safety Levine said. "But I definitely think
s and general deterioration that the building itself was a point
ears of use, the building was of similarity between people from
d of a makeover. the RC from different generations;
senior Rosie Levine, who people came together around that,
ly completed an indepen- apd there is a lot lost there even
tudy project aimed at com- though it had to happen."
memories and stories from The dining hall has been a
Luad prior to its renovation, source of frustration for students
he feels it is important to actually living in East Quad. Stu-
wledge not only what was dents from other dorms choose to
East Quad's renovation, but eat there frequently and crowd the
e necessity of the improve- room, as South Quad dining hall is
closed this year for construction.
st Quad has been a really Peter Logan, the director of
ant place for a lot of peo- communications for University
er the years," Levine said. Housing, said in comparison to
e East Quad closed, a lot othe dining halls, East Quad pro-
ple came back and talked vides more options for vegetarian
how much the building real- and vegan students, more local
nt to them and how much foods - all meat and poultry at
ollege life was really formed East Quad is local - and made-to-
d East Quad and how that order food.
ally the center of their social However, Plasterer mentions
d political life." overcrowding and the general
Halfway Inn, a concert time-consuming nature of eating
known among students as in the East Quad dining hall affect
Half-ass," was one of the her and other residents on a daily
parts of East Quad and was basis.
sated during renovations, Students are still adjusting to
ng discontent among some this new dining experience, and
its. are finding ways to cope with the
at was a huge central aspect crowds.
East Quad community, and "We aren't restoring residence
ctually took it away in the halls to be what they were or to
tion, and a lot of people meet expectations of those who
really, really upset about used to live there," Logan said,
Levine said. "We are renovating them for the
lyn Plasterer, a sophomore contemporary and emergingneeds
Residential College, admits of current and future students."
udents living in East Quad The post-renovation East Quad,
xperienced aloss of commu- Plasterer said, almost feels likea
uring this transitional peri- hotel. Things are very clean, mo|-
the RC, which was relocated ern and nice, but it doesn't always
t Quad Residence Hall dur- feel like home. But Plasterer and
nstruction. other students are also excited to
lf of us in the RC didn't have see what East Quad becomes.
ense of community, so we "I think it is kind of cool that we
;ven know how to foster it. have this opportunity to put our
t know what the RC was unique imprint on this building"
, Plasterer said, "People Higgins said,
11 us it was better, but how "East Quad was definitely home
fix that? The administra- to bothstudents and faculty before
re trying really hard, but I the renovation," Levine said,
:he community is suffering." "Maybe it will become that for
ing lived in East Quad both a new generation again, but this
renovations and after, Mad- building was really special."
UPPER: ROTC students perform a final color guard ceremony on July 11, 2014 at North Hall, the home af theROTC pro-
gram for 74 years. LOWER: A bell is rung to decommission North Hall, an adaptation from naval tradition.
University stopped studying
In the early 1940s, the build-
ing was renamed North Hall
and became home to the Uni-
versity's Navy ROTC program,
with the University's Army
and Air Force ROTC programs
joining a decade later. All three
programs relocated to the
Chemistry building last May.
During the ceremony, Evans
highlighted several memorable
moments in North Hall's his-
tory. On December 8,1941- the
day after Japan attacked Pearl
Harbor during World War II
- a local newspaper reported
that more than 100 University
students stood outside the com-
manding officer's office to sign
up to fight in the war, he said.
North Hall was also bombed
three times. The first, in June
1969, was felt two miles away
and broke 60 windows, though
nobody was injured.
University alum Captain Phil
Klintworth, an executive con-
sultant at Tetra Tech and for-
mer professor of Naval Science
who also spoke at the event,
said in an interview after the
ceremony that he was surprised
there wasn't more of an effort to
preserve North Hall as a histor-
ic landmark. However, he added
that he agreed with the regents'
"From a practical stand-
point, I mean, the building is
old, it certainly doesn't meet
fire codes, it's very expensive to
keep it in repair," he said. "If I
were on the Board of Regents,
I'd probably make the same
Commander Scott Howell,
associate professor of Naval
Science and Executive Officer
of the University's Naval ROTC
Unit, said before the ceremony
that the event was bittersweet.
He added that moving forward,
he would like to see the Univer-
sity's ROTC program continue
to thrive and increase its cam-
"I'm proud of our students,"
Howell said. "They're an amaz-
ing bunch of young men and
women who volunteer to serve
the country, go to school - I
mean, this is a tough school to
get into, so they're extremely
bright, extremely intelligent."
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ROTC faculty and honored guests attend the decommissioning ceremony of North Hall.