Western Michigan University has announced that Bigelow and Hoekje Halls will be torn down during the summer of 2013.
In place of these buildings will be the construction of new residence halls that will be available for student housing.
Bigelow and Hoekje Halls house the engineering students and the transfer students at WMU. Both halls have over 550 residents combined.
Henry Hall is the only hall among the Big Three residence halls that will not be torn down. New residence halls, making up a residence community, will replace the existing halls.
Peter Larr has been Hall Director of Bigelow Hall for three years, and serves as Director of both Bigelow and Hoejke halls this year. He said both buildings are outdated and in dire need of repair.
“I think it’s necessary to rebuild the building so that we can build better and new buildings so we can better accommodate students into better housing,” said Larr.
“Being an RA, it would be sweet to be the first staff to work there [in the new apartments],” said Tyler Hulet, a residence assistant at WMU.
Residence Life at WMU has said that its staff will be conducting meetings in both Bigelow and Hoekje Halls to discuss with students the future housing plans for next year. Many students have continued living in both halls beyond their freshman and sophomore years, according to Residence Life. The current decision is that WMU will open up Eldridge and Fox Halls in the Valley III dorms to house the students while the new residence facilities are being constructed.
This will be a historic change on campus, being that both buildings have been housing students since the late 1950s. In just six month’s time, iconic landmarks that make up a piece of WMU will no longer be standing.
“It’s a bittersweet thing for me,” said Hulet. “However, there are other older buildings they could tear down instead.”