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Harrisonburg: Demolition begins at Oakwood

Item by Jim Bishop/Photo by Jon Styer

Demolition work began Friday, Sept. 12, on Oakwood residence hall at Eastern Mennonite University. The nearly 40-year-old facility, home to some 2,800 men between 1999 and 2008, will be replaced by a $6 million, three-story, 120-bed residence hall on the same site. A web cam has been set up to watch demolition and construction progress at

EMU is seeking LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification at the silver level for the Oakwood demolition and construction process. All materials in the original building were carefully assessed for re-usability. Debris from the demolition will be ground into fill for the new project. Furnishings from the former Oakwood building have been donated to Meserete Kristos College in Ethiopia or will be auctioned at the local Gift and Thrift with proceeds forwarded to Mennonite Central Committee. Unusable waste will be sorted for recycling. Ultimately, very little waste from the original building will go to the landfill.

Harman Construction Company of Harrisonburg is the general contractor; LeRoy Troyer and Associates of Mishawaka, Ind., is providing architectural services.

EMU anticipates the new building will be ready for occupancy the fall of 2009.