Allerton Apartment buildings G and H to be torn down this summer

Jennifer Mussig

There is a saying that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Dynasty Deconstruction is busy sorting through the would-be trash of Allerton Apartment Buildings G and H looking for metals and other hidden treasures before the buildings are demolished this summer.

A crew of eight men bounce back and forth between Terrace Hall and Allerton Apartments removing furniture and precious metals such as copper, aluminum and brass, said Keith Ludwig, president and owner of Dynasty Deconstruction. Deconstruction, or taking a building apart and recycling the materials, helps send less material to landfills.

Low demand for housing plus a high price to renovate led to the university’s decision to demolish the buildings, said David Creamer, vice president for administration.

“It would be cheaper to build new buildings than to renovate the existing buildings,” Creamer said. “However, we don’t consider new construction viable because most families are looking for lower-cost housing options.”

Since there are a number of lower-cost apartment options near the campus, there isn’t as much of a need for the university to offer such apartments today as there was when Allerton Apartments was initially constructed, Creamer said.

As a building approaches 40 years old, the building’s mechanical systems have typically reached the end of their lifespan, said Mike Bruder, assistant director for architecture and engineering. Allerton Apartment buildings G and H required the most amount of work because of decaying piping, sanitary waste lines and heating lines. The electrical systems needed to be upgraded as well.

Demolition will start in July or August, and it will cost about $200,000, Bruder said. Deconstruction will help offset the cost of demolition. Half of the profit Dynasty Deconstruction makes from recycling and selling building materials goes back to the university.

After three weeks of work, Dynasty Deconstruction made about $6,000 which will be split 50/50 with the university, Ludwig said.

“Residence Services is pleased that material will be recycled, and that the institution is being environmentally responsible in how we approach deconstruction and demolition of these halls,” said Residence Services Director Betsy Joseph.

At the moment there are no plans to replace the buildings, Bruder said. However the space will be available if there is a need in the future.

Contact buildings and grounds reporter Jennifer Mussig at [email protected]