Gibbs Hall demolition costing $1.5 million as FAMU aims to address housing concerns

Last month, the FAMU board of trustees approved $11 million toward new housing facilities
FAMU set to tear down Gibbs Hall
Published: May. 22, 2023 at 4:52 PM EDT|Updated: May. 22, 2023 at 5:34 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The beginning stages of demolition are underway to take down Gibbs Hall on FAMU campus as part of a campus-wide housing renovation push.

The university already brought down Truth Hall and the housing facility on Palmetto North Drive.

The FAMU Board of Trustees last month approved $11 million to kick off construction of three new housing facilities. One will be a 500-bed dormitory that will replace Gibbs Hall where it stands or at the site of the Paddyfote dormitory complex. A 700-bed dorm is set for the north side of complex and an 800-bed apartment complex which will sit on Palmetto North Drive.

Heading the demolition and construction is Bodie Young, the FAMU facilities planning and construction project manager and a former resident of Gibbs hall. The now-employee with the institution said he stayed in the hall when he was a freshman.

“Whatever we can renovate we try to, but for buildings like this that are past their useful life, we want to go ahead and try and replace them as best as possible,” Young said. “We want to try and keep the kids on campus so we want to give them something new.”

Young said for demolition alone, labor and deconstruction costs have reached $1.5 million.

In the preliminary stages of demolition, Gibbs said he and his team have been working to reroute the underground utilities that feed into Gibbs Hall, Samson Hall and Young Hall, all located in the same area of campus.

“In order to take this building down we have to reroute those lines first and cut in some new valves,” Young said. “It’s a slight headache but it’s nothing that we couldn’t deal with.”

Though there’s no timeline on the 500-bed dormitory to take the place of Gibbs Hall, he said he anticipates the 700-bed dormitory complex will be completed first and said complete demolition of Gibbs Hall should wrap up by the beginning of the fall semester.

“Though we may be losing a piece of our history, we’re actually not losing it because we’re going to foster in new housing for our students for years to come,” Young said.

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