McGaw Hall, the seven-story residence hall on the northeast corner of Rockford University’s campus, is scheduled for demolition. The building has not been in use since its closing in 2004. The N-TRAK Group of Loves Park, Illinois, has been awarded the contract for demolition, which will begin immediately. The entire project will take six to eight weeks to complete.
McGaw Hall was completed in 1969 and first served as a women’s residence hall. It was closed in 2004 for two primary reasons: the space was not needed to house students and there were prohibitive costs associated with several building code upgrades, most significant was the retrofitting of a fire suppression system. Discussions have continued since its closing about what would be the best long-term solution for the McGaw building, taking into account both renovation and demolition options.
Damage sustained to the building as a result of this past winter’s extreme weather conditions caused roof drains to malfunction and flooding throughout the building. There is no strategic advantage to renovating the facility for use as a residence hall, as the space no longer adequately meets the needs and expectations of current students. As additional living spaces are needed, students will be better served by more modern housing alternatives. The university’s Fiscal Year 2015-2018 strategic planning process includes provisions for the construction of new housing that will provide options for both traditional and non-traditional students.
Rockford University President Robert L. Head said: “The recent damage to McGaw Hall and resulting insurance settlements allow us to offset the approximate $600,000 cost to raze the structure, making this an opportune time to put the lingering issues of the building to rest. We continue our commitment to make improvements to the university that enhance the overall experience of our students, like the $5 million in renovations currently under way to the Burpee and Seaver centers that will provide modern student-centered spaces that benefit the entire campus community.”
Rockford University has invested more than $13 million in capital improvements in the last five years. Estimates to completely renovate the McGaw building are in the $5 million range. The cost of demolition is estimated to remain below $600,000.
Posted Aug. 20, 2014