Jack Dodson/The Pendulum
As bricks and glass came down on the old site of The Pendulum office on Williamson Avenue in Elon, students gathered to take photos and video of the destruction. A bulldozer rolled up on top of the building, pulling at walls until they came down.
The move to tear down the building, which until late last year housed the student newspaper, came as a part of the school’s 10-year strategic plan, The Elon Commitment. According to administration officials, the site will be a three-story building that will be the new home of the campus store. The Pendulum has been in talks to relocate to the top floor when the new building is constructed.
“It’s a mixed emotion,” said editor-in-chief Anna Johnson. “You’re sad to see it come down because of all the great memories you’ve had in there, but
you have to look on the bright side that you’ll be moving into a new building.”
The Pendulum moved from its old building to McEwen 009 in December, renovating an unoccupied room in the School of Communications’ basement to serve as a new home. The organization was offered a house on College Avenue by university officials when they were first told in November that they would have to leave the office on Williamson Avenue, but they chose to move to McEwen.
“It’s been stressful just because I think it’s been difficult for the staff to adjust to a new location, and it’s not as exciting for them. Hopefully it’s just for a semester,” Johnson said.
Ken Mullen, the assistant vice president for business and finance, said the deconstruction of
the office was being handled by John McDonald, owner of EDG Property, LLC, the building’s developer. The building, though, represents a part of a larger plan, The Elon Commitment, aimed at bringing more businesses to the downtown. The plan is being developed along with the Town of Elon, and Mullen meets regularly with Town Manager Mike Dula and Board of Aldermen members Mark Greene and Davis Montgomery.
“(Downtown development’s) a goal we have jointly with the town,” Mullen said.
He said the plan involves looking for other places than just campus to strengthen community for students, faculty and staff.
“We’re working with some folks to try to get more teants down there, and of course that’s the ultimate goal. it’s a matter of working with venodrs to try to bring them down there and entice them, try to bring some vibrancy to the downtown area.”
For Robert Buchholz, the director of Elon’s Physical plant, the construction involved in the strategic plan means more development downtown and a more services locally. But it also means more work with more buildings, as the strategic plan seeks to add numerous buildings to campus, including residence halls and a convocation center.
“We’re at 2 million square feet, and we’re going to grow to 3 million square feet, and those building’s have to be maintained,” Buchholz said.
Buchholz said there will be a few more hires in housekeeping and other services to make sure physical plant workers can keep up with more buildings.
Note: Mullen and Buchholz were interviewed after this article originally appeared. Buchholz’s name was spelled wrong in an earlier version.