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Changes in store at Wiest

8/12/2012

By RANDY GONZALES

rgonzales@dailynews.net

The Wiest Hall annex's walls are tumbling down.

In a few years, the main portion of the building likely will be history, too.

The annex to the dormitory on the campus of Fort Hays State University was built in 1961, 10 years before the tower was constructed.

New housing is expected to be constructed on the site, said Dana Cunningham, director of facilities planning at FHSU. The tower portion of the building could be demolished in approximately three years.

"That's the current vision, that in a few years we would bring the tower down (too), probably after we have constructed housing for that tower," he said.

The tower portion of Wiest Hall was a men's dorm to start out, but now is co-ed. It's full for the fall, with an occupancy of 361 students.

The annex has seen multiple uses. The first floor provided housing for nearly 20 students at different times. The second floor has been used by the psychology department. The Kelly Center, which provides counseling, also was located at one time in the annex. When Albertson Hall was being renovated, some staff relocated temporarily to the annex.

Now, the annex is a thing of the past. Demolition began in early June and was expected to be completed by mid-August.

"It was falling into disrepair," Cunningham said. "There was simply no reason to keep it around.

"It was no longer housing students. We thought it was a better plan to get rid of it, for whatever was needed for a replacement building."