College Inn, a dorm on the University of North Texas campus, is slated for demolition in the near future.
Steve Maruszewski, vice chancellor for strategic infrastructure at UNT, presented the issue during Thursday’s Board of Regents meeting.
He said he hoped to return with a formal request to move forward with demolition at the May meeting.
“The reason we’re not demolishing it and proceeding immediately is we’re holding this facility open for overflow should we need it if the pandemic presented more challenges to us,” Maruszewski said. “We don’t think we will, and we hope we don’t, but we needed the additional capacity just in case.”
College Inn is one of the older residence halls on the UNT campus. University officials announced this past September the dorm would be closed to students for the fall semester, as first reported by the North Texas Daily.
Officials at the time cited the ongoing pandemic and other budget shortfalls for the closure.
The report presented to regents claimed the 126,061-square-foot building is in “very poor condition.”
The building, along with Oak Street Hall, were marked for eventual demolition during a larger project meant to cut university costs related to older, smaller buildings.
Maruszewski explained demolition would save the university an estimated $17 million in updates required on the building.
Even with the roughly $2.5 million price tag for demolition, and considering the approximately $1.2 million annual cost to operate the facility, officials estimate the investment to tear the building down would pay off within two years or so.
Laura Wright, chair of the regents, said she spent three years in the dorm and has many fond memories of her time there.
“There are tens of thousands of UNT Greek alumni who, I will tell you, have fond memories of this place,” she said during the meeting.
She and Maruszewski agreed they might be able to sell building materials or other souvenirs from the building after it’s demolished, but no such plans were finalized Thursday.
Oak Street Hall, which holds the College of Visual Arts and Design’s ceramics department is also scheduled for demolition as part of UNT’s larger arts project.
Much like College Inn, the building is in poor shape. The university will avoid roughly $3 million in update costs by tearing it down soon, and that investment should pay off within two years.
The regents will reconvene for a second day of the virtual meeting at 9 a.m. on Friday.