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BYU Brings Down Iconic Building

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

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PROVO, UT--Brigham Young University has said goodbye to a campus icon in memorable fashion.

The two-week demolition of the John A. Widtsoe College of Life Sciences was captured in a two-minute time-lapse video posted Wednesday (June 10).

The dramatic video shows crews methodically picking apart the nine-story building floor by floor as if the excavators were chowing on concrete and snacking on steel.

Demolition Details

The Widtsoe Building served the Brigham Young University as the College of Life Sciences for 45 years, the Provo, UT-based university said.

Harold B. Lee Library Production Unit via Vimeo

The John A. Widtsoe building in Provo, UT, was demolished May 21 to June 5.

Okland Construction, the contractor in charge of the project, said it had removed asbestos and other hazardous materials before beginning demolition, according to BYU’s Daily Universe.

Once the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cleared the building as safe for demolition, high-reach excavators began ripping down the structure in front of an audience of students and faculty.

The company said it planned to recycle as much as 70 percent of the building material debris.

BYU plans to landscape the former site and install sidewalk after the debris has been removed, the report noted.

A Campus Icon

Completed in 1970, the 211,000-square-foot building was named after a leading scientist in agriculture and soil chemistry.

Widtsoe was also an apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a BYU instructor.

The building housed numerous office, laboratories and classrooms.  It was perhaps best known for its basement lined with 15 giant aquariums, the university reported.

However, the building was not designed for student interaction and was not able to meet current safety regulations, including seismic safety requirements, the Daily Universe reported.

Thus, a new College of Life Sciences building, designed to be seismically sound and cultivate collaboration, was completed in Spring 2014.

The time-lapse video was created by the Harold B. Lee Library Production Unit.


Tagged categories: Asbestos; Construction; Demolition; Education; Good Technical Practice; Health and safety; North America; Schools

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