VALPARAISO | Workers began the demolition of the former student union at Valparaiso University on Friday -- a move to make room for a new academic building on campus.
The new building will house classrooms and faculty offices, according to VU spokesman Dustin Wunderlich.
Wunderlich said two older academic buildings -- Miller Hall and Huegli Hall -- will be demolished as part of a trend to move academic departments into newer facilities.
Huegli Hall, which stands in the center of the campus, across the street from the old union, houses offices for the faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences. Originally Deaconess Hall on the VU campus, the building was constructed in 1957 and was owned by the Lutheran Deaconess Association until 1985. It served as a dormitory for women in the Deaconess program during that time.
Miller Hall, 824 LaPorte Ave., next to Porter Valparaiso Hospital Campus, houses VU's education department. It was formerly Immanuel Lutheran School.
Wunderlich said no timeline has been set for the demolition of Huegli Hall and Miller Hall.
The former union opened in 1955 when VU had a student body of 2,600. It was replaced in 2009 when the new 207,000 square-foot Harre Union opened. University officials hope to have the old union razed by the beginning of the fall semester in August.