MSU dorm bows to the wrecking ball

STARKVILLE – A few weeks from now, memories of friendships, all-nighters and the walk up “Hernia Hill” to the Union, the post office and the cafeteria will constitute the remaining traces of Suttle Hall at Mississippi State University.
The 43-year-old dormitory, retired from service in 2007, started its disappearing act Wednesday when Ann Bailey, director of housing and residence life, released the wrecking ball for its first swing at the nine-story structure.
Named for N.D. Suttle, a former agronomy professor and head of the State Seed Testing Laboratory, the building housed 599 students in Spartan 1960s architecture.
“It’ll take probably until around Aug. 1 to have it down completely, and it’ll probably take another month to have everything hauled off and the site cleared,” Bailey said.
After Old Main Dormitory burned in 1959, the university used many of its bricks to build the Chapel of Memories, but the future of Suttle’s bricks is more prosaic: They’ll be piled just outside the construction gate for the general public to take.
What will replace Suttle? In terms of both student housing and the actual location, the answers are up in the air. While several new residence halls have been built at MSU in recent years, Bailey said, “We need to decide what we’re going to do next to keep up with the increase in enrollment.”
Campus Architect Tim Muzzi said the only firm plan for the Suttle area a block north of the campus’ center is a long-anticipated parking garage across Barr Avenue from Suttle.
“We’re in the process of doing a whole master plan of the campus,” Muzzi said.

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Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal