By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
A 1939 building Northern Oklahoma College Enid has not been able to use since it purchased the former Phillips University is being demolished.
Larry Dye, associate vice president of physical operations for NOC, said the building could not be rehabilitated because of the condition it was in when NOC purchased the former Phillips University in 1999.
“That building was in a lot of disrepair when we bought it,” Dye said. “The roof had been leaking for years and not repaired.”
Lynn Smith, a member of the NOC Board of Regents, said while he hated to see the building be torn down, there really was no choice.
“The building was beyond its useful life, and we had not planned to put it back into service,” Smith said.
Smith pointed to Americans With Disabilities Act requirements that would have come into play if NOC had tried to reuse the building.
“It would not meet a single ADA requirement,” Smith said. “There was nowhere to start and nowhere to stop.”
“It has so many structural issues, it is not feasible to try to do anything with the building,” Dye said. “Mold, structural damage, basically everything inside was ruined.”
Dye said the decision to remove the building was made for reasons of safety, security and costs.
New Environmental Protection Agency requirements taking effect this year would have required the debris be transported to dedicated hazardous waste disposal sites, Dye said. Had that been the case, the cost of removing the building would have been more than double the contracted cost of $40,000.
“It would have been between $80,000 and $100,000 to demolish it if we had waited for the new EPA rules to go into effect,” Dye said.
Smith said the building had three cornerstones that were donated to Phillips University Alumni Association. The alumni association in turn gave the cornerstones to Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center.
“The building was originally constructed to be a student union,” Smith said. “It served as a student union for several years, and then it was converted to a music department. It housed the music department until Phillips closed.”
Smith said any of the roof tiles that can be salvaged will be preserved for possible later use on the art building, which has the same type of tile roof.
Dye said eventually, when funds are available, the space probably will become a parking lot, improving access to the Mabee Center.