WIU facilities management discusses building closure plans

By Jaycie Doerr, News3 Assistant Executive Produce & WC Editor-in-Chief

MACOMB, IL (NEWS3 & WC) – Last fall, Western Illinois University (WIU) broke ground on the Center for Performing Arts. The university also announced was the closure of Tillman Hall, a building not far from the construction site, will be going offline.

Tillman Hall currently hosts classes and professors’ offices in meteorology, geographic information systems, and geology. All these classes and the offices will be moved to Currens Hall and Waggoner Hall.

Assistant Vice President of Facilities Management, Troy Rhoads, said the work at Tillman Hall needs done to make it functional again.

“The building has got significant work that it is requiring,” Rhoads said. “The roof is well beyond its useful life, the elevator needs to be modernized.”

He also said the HVAC system needs updating. Rhoads said that since the system is built within the concrete walls and maintenance on the HVAC system requires those walls to be removed in order to access most of the system. A few years ago, Rhoads said WIU had to spend the money to repair one of the fan blades within the system. Facilities Management had to remove walls and even had to remove part of the external wall to get the fan out of the building.

Lawren Moore, a meteorology student, attends classes in the building. She said, “With temperatures it is either warm or cold and it never matches the outside and it’s uncomfortably so. It’s not a very good building, so it doesn’t feel like the best learning environment.”

She also said that she is frustrated with WIU about the building closing.

“It’s a money issue and we don’t want to put money into it,” Moore said. “Even though I just started as a freshman, I like that building. Having to go somewhere else from where I choose to live and having to move buildings is going to be something interesting.”

Other changes to WIU include razing of Lamoine Village. Lamoine Village was three adjacent buildings for family, graduate, and international student housing. The first building was taken offline in 2010, with the second and third building closing in 2012. Now, Rhoads says they have plans to demonish the buildings.

“Definitely with Lamoine Village, we’d like to raze that area,” Rhoads said. “We have some ideas and things in the queue. We’d like to make Lamoine a much more sustainable area.”

He did not confirm any plans for the area.

At this time, there are no plans to raze Tillman Hall nor is there any timeline for when renovations will be done.

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