Evangel University to bulldoze last World War II era barracks

Courtesy: Evangel University

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (News Release) -- The last World War II era wooden building remaining near the Evangel University campus is in the process of being razed.

Evangel is built on the site of the former O’Reilly Army Hospital, and the gymnasium on the southwest corner of Glenstone and Division is currently being removed. The roof of the old gym was severely damaged by high winds during a storm on December 1, 2018. The goal is to have the site cleared by the end of March, weather permitting. David Rensch Construction is the demolition contractor.

“An Amish crew has been hired by the demolition contractor to remove whatever materials that they can re-use in lieu of hauling it off to the landfill,” said Brian Hauff, director of facilities. “This is one way Evangel has promoted environmental stewardship.”

The Amish men removed the metal siding last Friday and Saturday, and they began dismantling the post-and-beam structure this week.

Over the years, Amish workers have taken dozens of the old buildings from Evangel and reused the wood on a variety of their construction projects, according to Paul K. Logsdon, spokesman for Evangel.

“On the other hand, several of the barracks were put on wheels in the 1950s and ’60s, transported from the campus, and used for other purposes in Springfield and surrounding communities,” said Logsdon.

The former Aunt Martha’s Pancake House on South Glenstone is one, and Calvary Chapel, on the corner of Seminole and Lone Pine, was the chapel at O’Reilly Hospital.