The university earmarked Smith Quad and the Nursing Building/old Tech Campus School for demolition more than a year ago as part of a multi-phase plan to clear the sites for future construction. Smith Quad comprises six buildings, former residence halls built in the 1950s and 60s, forming a block between Sixth and Seventh Streets and N. Mahler and N. Walnut Avenues. The former Nursing Building, located on W. Eighth Street, served as home to the Seventh Street Elementary School in the 1940s and later as TTU’s campus school for teacher training beginning in the 1950s.
“Both buildings will have to be cleared of all hazardous materials before the structures come down, so the only noticeable signs that work is going on in the first few weeks will be the fences that are installed to secure the areas,” said Binkley.
The State Building Commission approved demolition in mid-December 2003, leading TTU to open the bid process in mid-January. Glenn Binkley, TTU’s assistant director of facilities and business services, says the contractor, Dore and Associates of Bay City, Mich., should have its notice to proceed by the end of February and signs of demolition will be noticeable probably in mid to late March.
Since both structures became eligible for listings within the state’s historic register due simply to age, the university had to obtain permission from the Tennessee Historical Commission before beginning work. Binkley says the university cooperated with the commission and will continue to make efforts to preserve the history of each.
“The university, with the guidance and hard work of Homer Kemp and Calvin Dickinson, has documented the history of the two buildings,” said Binkley. “Photos and other items in the archives will be available to tell the story of the original buildings on those sites.”The contractor will also salvage about 500 bricks as memorabilia, and the university will create displays with information and artifacts from the demolished buildings to be placed in the new buildings eventually constructed on the sites. -more-