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Catawba College's Abernethy Hall Comes Down to Make Way for Abernethy Village

October 19, 2006

Category: Alumni, Events


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While students, faculty and staff of Catawba College looked on, Abernethy Hall began to come down on the overcast morning of Thursday, October 19. The Knoxville, Tennessee-based E. Luke Green, an environmentally sensitive demolition company, used a track hoe to claw away and push on the walls of the building, gradually destroying portions of it.

By day's end, the demolition was almost complete. Then, work will begin to prepare the site for construction of the five new apartment-style residence halls, collectively to be called Abernethy Village.

"Get her done!" one College staffer yelled as the hard hat-clad operator of the track hoe waved to those gathered and hauled himself up into its cab. Others clapped and whooped in anticipation, a few waved Catawba blue and white pompoms.

"This is sad, but exciting," another College employee noted, while a nearby student explained he just came to watch the demolition of his old room in Abernethy, located on the third floor.

In September, the Catawba College Facilities Department began to remove furniture from the circa 1966 residence hall. Locks, doors, fire alarms, electrical panels, and even commodes which can be reused on campus were also removed by facilities staffers.

Next, asbestos abatement began and was completed before the E. Luke Green Company moved on the scene in early October. Green spent several weeks continuing to dismantle Abernethy from the inside out, removing pipes, windows, some interior walls and key ceiling supports in the pre-cast building.

A symbolic groundbreaking ceremony for Abernethy Village was held on campus Sept. 19. At that event, College President Dr. Robert Knott announced that the new residence halls would be named as both a tribute and memorial to the Abernethy family which has long supported the institution. Abernethy Hall and the Abernethy Physical Education Center on-campus were originally named for longtime College trustee, the late Julius W. Abernethy of Catawba County. Claude and Shuford Abernethy also of Catawba County, respectively Julius W. Abernethy's nephew and great-nephew, both now serve as College trustees.

The fiArtistic Rendering of Interiorve new residence halls will be ready next August, the start of the 2007-2008 academic year. Collectively, they will provide 125 beds which will be occupied by upper-class students. Two of the new residence halls will feature apartment-style living, with kitchens and common living space, while three of the new halls will offer suite-style living. Each of the five three-story halls will house between 24 and 28 students.

Two of the new residence halls will sit on Summit Avenue between Pine Knot Residence Hall and the Ruth Richards House and will face each other, sharing a common courtyard. The other three residence halls will be sited on the footprint of Abernethy Hall, and these three will face the campus interior.

The Knoxville, Tennessee-based higher education consulting firm of Lawler-Wood is acting as project manager for the Abernethy Village construction and other facilities renovations on campus.

Related Content:
  • View Photo Gallery of Demolition ;
  • Catawba College's Preparation for Abernethy Village Construction ;
  • Groundbreaking Marks Beginning of Abernethy Village at Catawba College ;
  • Plans for New and Improved Residence Halls and Academic Center ;


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