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Residence hall on Creighton University campus being demolished

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OMAHA — Demolition is underway on one of the oldest residence halls on Creighton University’s campus.

Construction crews started tearing down Gallagher Hall, which is on the southwest edge of Creighton's campus, last week Tuesday.

As of Friday morning, about 15% of the five-story building had been demolished, according to Creighton spokesman Sam Achelpohl. The building is expected to be completely down by the end of June.

In the near future, the site will become a small parking lot to help ease a lack of parking caused by construction projects elsewhere on campus. One of those projects includes a new residence hall — the university’s first since 2006 — rising along 23rd Street south of Burt Street.

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In the long term, Achelpohl said, plans include building a next-generation library on the former dorm site.

“We have ambitious goals to grow Creighton’s campus,” he said.

Gallagher Hall was built in 1961 and housed students through the 2020-21 academic year. The five-story building housed about 200 students across four of its floors.

Construction crews prepped the building for about six weeks leading up to demo day, Achelpohl said. Prep work included things such as removing and disposing of old tiles.

The Rev. Daniel Hendrickson, Creighton’s president, kicked off the demolition by tearing into the building from the seat of an excavator.

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Debris is piled up outside Gallagher Hall as crews work on demolishing the dorm on Creighton University's campus. Officials expect to donate many of the materials from the demolished building.

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The excavator, which resembles a crane with a claw on the end, will allow for much of the building materials to be recycled, Achelpohl said. Such materials as concrete, metal, brick and glass will be recycled. Officials estimate recyclable material at about 80%.

Much of the furniture was donated to Restoring Dignity and the Furniture Project.

Leading up to the demolition, university officials collected stories from students who lived in the dorm. Memories included a prank that left an opossum in the second-floor bathroom, a couple of fires and even one love story.

They’re also selling “memorial” T-shirts and stickers emblazoned with an image of Gallagher Hall, Achelpohl said. Some items, including room numbers and mailboxes, that were salvaged from the building will be auctioned at a later date.

“It’s a building that has so much history,” Achelpohl said. “So many great stories, so many great memories. It was beloved.”

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