Hannibal-LaGrange University’s past and future were on display Monday afternoon.

Hannibal-LaGrange University’s past and future were on display Monday afternoon.

A portion of the university’s past – its science building – was being brought down by a piece of heavy equipment. A stone’s throw away stood a bare patch of earth where a new building will be constructed in the not-to-distant future.

According to Carolyn Carpenter, director of public relations for the university, demolition efforts shifted to a new level Monday.

“They’ve been doing little things for the past couple of weeks. Last week the roof started coming off, but today was the actual taking down of walls,” she said, adding that the bulk of the building’s demolition could be completed this week.

Carpenter is confident a portion of the building’s materials will be recycled.

“It looks like they are splitting some of the metal things into piles and the bricks into another, so it does look like there are some recycling efforts, definitely,” she said.

The science building, which Carpenter estimates dates back to the late ‘50s to early ‘60s, was damaged beyond repair during the severe storm which hammered Hannibal on May 20, 2013.

“The storm actually cracked the foundation, so it was deemed pretty much unusable at that time,” said Carpenter. “That’s when we put in the smaller, modular facilities and nursing was moved over across the way to Northport Plaza.”

While not suitable for HLGU students and faculty, the building could still be used as a learning center by area law enforcement agencies.

“Some tactical units from police departments used the building for training purposes,” said Carpenter.

Once the demolition of the science building is completed, “it will become a part of the landscape of a more beautified campus,” said University President Dr. Anthony Allen.


New construction


Just a short distance from the building that is being brought down is the site where the new structure will be erected.

“Dirt work is being done. There was such a hole over there, so they’ve leveled it and then started some drainage it looks like. A road will be put in as well,” said Carpenter.

Allen reports that “actual construction of the building will begin hopefully in the next month.”

The new building will house science, nursing, allied health and math classes, plus provide space for faculty offices for those programs.

“Principally the building is for these programs, but with the anticipated growth within the nursing and allied health professions, a new building could be built for those programs as well… sometime in the future,” said Allen

The new structure will very likely be built with the help of a grant. The university announced in June it was the recipient of a challenge grant from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation for $400,000. The university must raise an additional $865,224 by March 31, 2015, in order to receive the matching funds from the Mabee Foundation.

In June it was reported that an additional $1.5 million will be needed for furnishings and fixtures for the building, bringing the total cost to just under $7 million.

“We need to raise an additional $800.000 to meet the Mabee Challenge grant,” said Allen. “Overall we need to raise a little over a million dollars to complete the project.”