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      Wetzel Hall destroyed in seconds

      Wetzel Hall came crumbling down Saturday morning, and it took less than 10 seconds.

      Contractors at Western Illinois University imploded the 13-story dorm at 7 a.m. More than one thousand alumni, students, faculty and residents came out to watch the show.

      Clean-up is expected to take six weeks. Almost 95 percent of the building's materials will be recycled. Once the building's debris is removed, the site will be a green space for a park. A part of Wetzel will always remain at the north quad campus. A new bus stop will be built, constructed using some of the stone from the hall.

      The dorm was built in 1970 and supplied a home for more than four decades to more than 22,000 students.

      After a facility condition assessment of the campus, Wetzel was identified as one of the buildings that had the greatest maintenance liabilities. The dorm was closed in Spring 2009.

      It would have cost the university more money to bring the hall up to par, so the decision was made to implode the building.