Demolition work under way at ISU's Storms and Knapp halls

AMES, Iowa -- Contractors are working to prepare Knapp and Storms residence halls for implosion between July 19 and 21.

The two residence halls were built in the mid-1960s and have significant deferred maintenance. Iowa State closed Knapp Hall in 2004 and Storms Hall in 2003. They are two of four residence halls in the Towers neighborhood on the ISU campus. The other two buildings, Wallace and Wilson halls, as well as a central commons, will remain.

Workers with Peterson Contractors, Inc. of Reinbeck and Controlled Demolition, Inc. of Phoenix, Maryland are at the implosion site this week. Peterson Contractors personnel are removing drywall, wood, ceramic tile and plaster from the buildings to lessen the dust that will be created during the implosion. They also are removing trees, removing and rerouting utilities, and demolishing the links between Knapp and Storms halls and the commons.

Controlled Demolition will prepare the buildings after they have been cleared. Workers are removing some of the masonry walls within the buildings, drilling more than 1,000 holes in each building (where explosives will be placed for the implosion), and wiring the buildings for implosion.

Controlled Demolition also plans to conduct a series of tests in Knapp Hall next week. Workers will place small amounts of explosives into isolated areas of the structure to determine the amount required for the implosion. The tests will be conducted during normal business hours, and local police and fire departments will be notified in advance. When the testing occurs, neighbors in the area may notice a loud "pop" similar to that of fireworks. There also will be some construction traffic from Welch Avenue onto Mortenson Road.

For more information, contact project manager Kerry Dixon-Fox at (515) 294-8028 or visit the project web site,, for updates.