April 24, 2009
Ramsay Hall to Be Demolished, Eventually Replaced
Samford University has announced plans to demolish the former Erskine Ramsay Hall and build another residence facility. The roof on the 36-resident apartment building collapsed in March 2008, and the university had been working with adjusters and others to complete the insurance process on the 50-year-old structure. No cause was ever determined for the collapse. No one was injured.
In a campus-wide announcement April 21, Sarah C. Latham, Samford's vice president for operations and planning, said demolition would begin sometime after spring graduation May 15-16.
The university's board of trustees earlier had approved feasibility studies on options for the university's housing shortage, Latham said. "The current economic climate makes it difficult to offer any certainty about a timeline for starting construction on a replacement."
Latham said the process had been a priority for the university since the accident first happened.
"Until we reach a certain point in the insurance assessment process, we could not touch the building," she explained. This was because it had to remain in its current state until all examinations were completed by the insurance company. There are still some remaining steps before the full insurance process will be closed out, but the key is that we have passed the hurdle of being able to tear down the current structure."
Latham noted that the university conducted structural reviews of all campus buildings following the Ramsay Hall collapse to ensure there were no issues in any other buildings.