Sun sets on Cal State East Bay's Warren Hall for last time

August 16, 2013 11:41:24 PM PDT
USGS officials are preparing to monitor this weekend's planned demolition of Cal State East Bay's old Warren Hall Administration Building.

Crews have set over 1,100 detonation charges on the old building. That's 463 pounds of explosives. The demolition on Saturday will make the 13-story landmark building crumble away from the adjoining library. Officials decided to blow up the building, instead of tearing it down slowly, to keep dust to a minimum.

"You have the same quantity of dust, but that dust is limited to a few minutes on a given day, with a known time, with proper planning so that same quantity of dust can be dealt with effectively," said Mark Liozeaux with Controlled Demolition Inc.

On Thursday, geologists from the USGS placed 600 sensors around the East Bay to measure movement along the Hayward Fault. The blast will have the same energy as a 2.0 quake.

Every morning when neighbor Kirk DeYoung leaves his house Warren Hall is right there.

"Honestly when I first moved here it was kind of an eyesore, I kind of gotten used to it now. You got this nice gorgeous meadow, hillside with beautiful trees and then... ehh," said DeYoung.

After Saturday morning, the 40-year-old tower will be gone. Warren Hall was built right along a fault line and was deemed the most seismically unsafe building in the Cal State University system. It's been abandoned for the last two years.

DeYoung says he'll have people over to watch the building come down. He said, "I have a bunch of friends coming over with donuts and coffee and we're going to set up the lawn chairs and some video cameras."

On the eve of the implosion, quite a few people have been buzzing around the neighborhood looking for the best vantage point. On campus, they snapped their last pictures before the sun set on the tower that first opened in 1971.

Inside, crews used jackhammers and blowtorches to soften the structure. The explosives inside will be used to make the building lean and then collapse on itself.

"We expect it's about a 10 to 12 second event. And it will go from a 13 story tower to about a 30 foot high pile of debris," said Jim Zavagno, the CSU East Bay vice president for facilities.

For those looking to watch the spectacle, the K-Mart down the hill will offer the best and safest public vantage point. Police will be shutting down all streets heading up to campus.

"This is an icon in the region and to see it come down I think is going to be fantastic, but safety is first," said CSU East Bay Police Chief Cheryl Boykins.

And for those who live nearby, dust will likely be the biggest concern.

"I just bought a box of dust masks, so yeah we're going to hand them out," said DeYoung.

The tower is scheduled to be destroyed at 9 a.m.

ABC7 News will be streaming the implosion live on Saturday at 9 a.m.


Load Comments