McCollum Hall, a massive residence hall landmark on the University of Kansas campus in Lawrence, came tumbling down Wednesday as planned.
Crews detonated about 750 pounds of explosives spaced throughout McCollum Hall, reducing to rubble all 10 floors and three wings of brick and mortar.
University officials arranged the demolition of the 50-year-old hall for 9 a.m. on the first day of Thanksgiving break so most students would be away from the campus at the time.
McCollum, which opened in 1965, was replaced on Daisy Hill by two new freshman-focused residence halls that opened at the start of the new school year. The new halls house about 350 students each.
McCollum was built to house 910 students in traditional dormitory-style rooms for two people. Each room included a built-in closet, dresser and mirror.
The building was named for brothers Elmer and Burton McCollum, alums and Lawrence residents who became well-known scientists. Elmer discovered vitamins A and D. His brother was the first to use seismography mapping for oil drilling companies.
Where McCollum once stood, the university plans surface parking for students living in the Daisy Hill residence halls.
Work remaining to clear the demolished building site includes crushing remaining concrete, hauling off materials and filling the hole, according to project planners. That process is expected to be completed after Feb. 1.
A crowd of onlookers of the demolition included Shaymarie Genosky, who lived in McCollum during her freshman year in 2005-06. Genosky said she was a little surprised at her reaction.
“When it went down, it was kind of sad,” she said. “It was kind of sentimental.”
As for the paintings of each of the McCollum brothers that once hung in the hall, Elmer McCollum’s portrait was moved to the School of Pharmacy, and Burton McCollum’s is now at the Kansas Geological Survey.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.