Out with the old, in with the new at WIU

One month after its implosion, cleanup crews remain on site at the former Wetzel Hall on Western Illinois University's campus .

WIU fall classes begin August 20, although faculty has been on campus since August 16.

Returning students will see the 13-story dorm now lays in a pile of ruble. The full cleanup is expected to take 6 to 8 weeks.

Almost 95 percent of the building's materials will be recycled. Students should see the area landscaped and repaved for a park by October.

Meanwhile, the university finished several improvements to its residence halls over the summer. Upperclassmen who move into the Lincoln and Washington Halls this week will find new student lounges and bathrooms along with a fresh coat of paint and new furniture inside every dorm room.

Many students watched the process unfold as these renovations took place throughout the school year.

"We were able to house students and accommodate the bed space as needed, but also, while they were living here the last two years, make improvements two floors at a time and shift folks. They worked really well with us during that move process," AJ Lutz, WIU's residential administration director said.

Most noticeably, the university will reopen the Corbin-Olson Hall after a 25 million dollar renovation over the last two years.

"We're really excited to see 900 some students move into that new dining space, student room and floor space," Lutz said.

There's yet another change on campus that will begin this semester.

"Thompson Hall will go offline this year as we start to re-skin that, so half way through the year, hopefully, you'll start to see some pretty dramatic changes with how Thompson Hall looks," Lutz said.