Douglas to be gone by end of September


Students walk past the south end of Douglas Hall monday.

By Keith Hernandez

The Environmental Health and Safety Department oversaw the completion of asbestos removal from Douglas Hall’s four wings Monday, allowing for further abatement of the material in the building’s central core.

Bill Nicklas, vice president of Operations and Community Relations, said the removal process, which began in July, is projected to be finished by the end of September, and the building will be demolished by mid-October.

Nicklas originally projected the building to be demolished before the 2014-2015 school year, according to a March 27 Northern Star article. He said the abatement has taken longer than originally expected due to the amount of asbestos-containing material in the building.

“It has been a major undertaking,” Nicklas said. “Of course, you have to go in all the walls, all the floors, the floor tile, the ceiling tile. It’s a very time-consuming and expensive project.”

The deconstruction of Douglas Hall and subsequent extension of Lucinda Avenue, a $4.5 million project, is set to be completed by June 2015, said university spokesman Paul Palian.

Students like Darius Johnson, senior industrial management and technology major, say they are growing impatient with the deconstruction process.

“If you’re going to do it just get it over with,” Johnson said. “Just don’t do it slowly because it probably makes people angry a little bit.”

Asbestos, which is used for insulation, fireproofing and strengthening other material, is linked to serious illnesses, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The agency reports that “human risk of asbestos disease depends upon exposure.”