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|WIU Residence Hall Implodes
|It took only ten seconds for a 42-year-old residence hall to come crashing to the ground Saturday morning at Western Illinois University.
Hundreds watched as a Senior Biology major pushed the ceremonial plunger just after 7am-- imploding Wetzel Hall.
Brian Schmidt was the university's "Text-2-Plunge" contest winner-- giving him what he described after as "not even a once in a lifetime opportunity because it's so rare."
"It's thrilling, my heart's still racing," Schmidt said. "My heart's still racing and I'm excited-- I hear the first boom and I know that it's a success. It's riveting, I'm still trembling and I just can't even describe it."
Asbestos abatement of Wetzel Hall spanned from last October until March, and the building was completely stripped all its internal components prior to Saturday's implosion.
WIU Physical Plant Deputy Director Ted Renner admits the blast was louder than he expected-- yet he tells WGIL the demolition was executed as planned.
"The guy that were down there were jokingly saying they wished there was a little bit more wind so the dust wasn't stagnant where it was," Renner said. "Otherwise, they say everything went very, very well."
Wetzel Hall's implosion falls under the university's master plan for upgrading it's residential and dining facilities.
Following approximately six weeks of cleanup, officials say a park will be constructed in the North Quad where the 13-story structure once stood.
(Bill Schmidt, a senior Biology major from Mokena, pushed the plunger Saturday morning to implode Wetzel Hall).
(Pictures provided by WIU University Relations).
(Wetzel Hall the evening prior to implosion).
(Several hundred former Wetzel residents, university officials, students, and others braved the 7am implosion time to witness history Saturday morning).
(Photos and WGIL News Story by Kyle Schassburger, Find more pictures on our WGIL Facebook page).
|07 14 12 by Newsroom
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