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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

June 22, 2005

Demolition prep work begins at Knapp and Storms halls

by Annette Hacker

Contractors are working to prepare Knapp and Storms residence halls for implosion between July 19 and 21. Crews from Peterson Contractors, Reinbeck; and Controlled Demolition Inc., Phoenix, Md.; are at the implosion site this week.

Peterson Contractors personnel are removing interior drywall, wood, ceramic tile and plaster to lessen the dust that will be created during the implosion. They also are removing trees, removing and rerouting utilities, and demolishing the hallways that link Knapp and Storms halls to a central commons facility. The commons is not part of the implosion and continues to be used by the catering division of ISU Dining.

Controlled Demolition crews will prepare the buildings after they have been cleared. Workers are removing some of the interior masonry walls, drilling more than 1,000 holes in each building (where explosives will be placed for the implosion) and wiring the buildings for implosion.

Site tests next week

Controlled Demolition also plans to conduct a series of tests in Knapp Hall the week of June 27. Workers will place small amounts of explosives into isolated areas of the structure to determine the amount required for the implosion.

The tests will be conducted during business hours, and local police and fire departments will be notified in advance. When the testing occurs, neighbors in the area may notice a loud "pop" similar to that of fireworks.

Knapp and Storms halls were built in the mid-1960s and have significant deferred maintenance. The residence department closed Knapp Hall in 2004 and Storms Hall in 2003. Two other halls in the Towers neighborhood, Wallace and Wilson halls, will remain.

For updates in the coming weeks, visit the project web site,


Workers are preparing Knapp and Storms residence halls for implosion between July 19 and 21. A series of tests to determine the amount of explosives needed were conducted the week of July 27.