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By LYNDSEY LOVELADY lbl010@latech



Since its grand opening in 1966, thousands of students have walked its halls, trickled in and out of its doors, and called Caruthers Residence Hall their home.

It has been 40 years since Tech’s campus welcomed the-600-student capacity Caruthers to the family, but with the demand for more innovative and spacious living conditions, the old buildings must make room for the new, the new being phase two.

“Caruthers has served the university well during the past 40 years,” Jim King, vice president of student affairs, said.

He said that phase two is currently a conceptual project, subject to drastic changes and includes not only an approximate $115 million expansion of Tech’s recreation complex, but will also bring new dormitories closer to Ruston’s historical district.

Ricky Ryland, a freshman history major, supports the shift in campus geography.

“Having the student body closer to downtown Ruston would be a plus,” Ryland said.

“The move could improve local business.”

Ryland believes the dormitory relocation would also prove to be more convenient for students.

“Instead of taking the interstate to feed the corporate giants such as Wal-Mart, students could just walk down Main Street and contribute more to the local economy.”

Kody Sasser, a sophomore nursing major, is also looking forward to the commencement as well as the completion of the new recreation complex.

“With the changes that have been made to the [Maxie Lambright Intramural Sports Center], the weight room is too small,” Sasser said. “There are too many people at a time using one room and it gets claustrophobic.”

King estimates the date of Caruthers’ demolition will be during the summer of 2009, but those plans have not been finalized.

“It was decommissioned in May of 2005,” King said. “Neilson  [Residence Hall] will be decommissioned sometime within the next year.”

King said the project will cost the university less by bringing both Neilson and Caruthers down together, which is why demolition has been pushed back.

“The new facilities will need to be online before demolition of Neilson and Caruthers begins,” King said. “But we’re working on it.”

He said that the halls of Caruthers have housed not only Tech students but also evacuees from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, which were also factors in the delay of demolition.

The new facilities will be similar to studio apartments including full kitchens, utility rooms, elevated ceilings and will bring between 400 to 600 new beds.

The doors of Caruthers were closed for good during the latter part of the fall term of 2005.

Now, the dormitory sits idly as a silent sentinel, watching over a new generation of students as it patiently awaits its inevitable death sentence.

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