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      Thompson Hall will undergo major remodel

      You can cross off another project that's on the list of the Western Illinios University campus master plan in Macomb.

      The university put the Thompson Hall renovation project at the top of the list following a detailed inspection of the building.

      Work on the $20 million renovation project on the high-rise residence hall will begin.

      "It's a project that has been on our radar for sometime. But we speeded up the timeline of this project recently," WIU Director of Residential Life Matt Bierman said. "We've had water infiltration in that building for several years and the students are becoming more and more affected by that and we decided it's time to really invest in that facility and rehab and to bring it back online for a really nice facility for our students ."

      The plan is to remove all of the furniture and replace the exterior skin of the building. Work will also include replacing many of the steam lines that provide heating and air conditioning to the rooms as well. This project got moved to the top of the list after a detailed inspection revealed major problems with water leaking into building.

      "The students who live in Thompson will move to Higgins for the 2012-2013 academic year," Bierman said. "And we finally settle down in the fall of 2013 and get everybody where they need to be and Thompson will be back online and Higgins will be offline. Corbin.Olson will be in it's 2nd year of use after the remodel ."

      About 1000 students live in Thompson and once this project gets completed, most of the residence halls on campus will have had some renovation work done to them .

      Besides the Thompson Hall project, Bierman says the university also plans to implode Wetzel Hall this summer.

      That building has been off line for residential use since 2009.

      Bierman says the university has between 4,000 and 5,00 0 students living on campus and that there are currently about 65 hundred rooms available.