Demolition continued this (Monday) morning on South Green residence halls, with Smith House nearly leveled and the razing of Atkinson House well under way.

The total cost of the project is around $3 million, The NEWS previously reported.

A third South Green dorm, Armbruster, is expected to be demolished later this summer. (Photos of Smith and Atkinson houses as they appeared before demolition on the OU website, are included in this photo gallery.)

The university has tore down six other South Green dorms (Cady, Foster, Brough, Fenzel, O’Bleness and Martzolff houses) in recent years as a part of a university-wide housing renewal strategy. Previously, the university suggested that all 15 of OU’s Back South/New South residence halls (the late ’60s, early ’70s-built dorms be torn down over time. There are no current plans to raze the older Front Four South Green dormitories (Pickering, Brown, Mackinnon and Crawford).

“Given a downward trending enrollment projection/housing demand and amount of deferred maintenance in the Back South, Mackey Mitchell Architects recommends demolishing six Back South buildings while keeping Hoover, Ewing and Wray online as future swing space,” an OU Board of Trustees agenda item stated in early 2018. Demolishing those six buildings will remove $40.66 million from the university’s deferred maintenance costs alone, according to the agenda. Plus, the buildings do not “promote (a) safe/secure image,” and are “highly inefficient and expensive to maintain.”

The agenda listed the area where those six dormitories could be removed as a potential “future recreation area.”

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