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Yost Hall to stand until spring 2024

Remaining departments to relocate during fall break
Courtesy of Clay Preusch/The Observer
Despite the multiple delays on Yost Hall’s demolition, confusion and complaints still linger among its current residents.

In April 2023, The Observer reported that Yost Hall would be demolished during the summer. However, as students returned to campus, the familiar sight of the former dormitory still remained in view. The building is now slated to be demolished in the spring semester, with the final tenants moving out during fall break. These include various student and administrative departments, as well as the Department of Mathematics, Applied Mathematics and Statistics.

“We have not yet finalized the construction schedule, as we are still designing the project,” said Vice President for Campus Planning and Facilities Management Dean Tufts. “Fencing is expected to be installed late this year or in January, with demolition likely to begin in the spring of 2024.”

“At the end of last semester, a petition went around in part to delay the demolition of Yost. Originally, the building would have had to be vacated by the beginning of summer, but luckily the school heard our complaints,” said Jon Willcutt, a fourth-year mathematics student, said. Willcutt noted that the first plan was for the Department of Mathematics to move in mid-summer, which was then pushed back to fall break. However, some professors had already packed up their offices before the delay was announced.

“Few professors want to unpack their offices for such a short period of time, so now walking around the offices of the math department shows an uncanny emptiness … [T]he move has now been pushed to a very turbulent time, [f]all [b]reak, when midterm grades are due, and is likely going to lead to confusion of students when they need office hours in the latter half of the semester,” he said.

Vice President Tufts said that Yost was “never scheduled to be razed this summer” since the university “will need time to complete preparations for the demolition, including installing temporary utilities, fencing and loading docks for adjacent buildings.” This is contrary to past reporting, which had the demolition scheduled for the summer, and then in the fall.

Professor Chris Butler, a senior instructor and the academic representative for the Department of Mathematics, noted the reaction within the department: “I am not sure if it will happen and I am very sure that it is not a great time to move.” Butler elaborated that half of the department will be relocated to the Health Sciences Research Campus, and the other half will be going to the fifth floor of the Sears Building. Willcutt highlighted how this move will split the department between teaching faculty (who will be in Sears) and those who are researching (in the Health Sciences Research Campus).

Levent Batakci, a recent graduate form the Department of Mathematics, noted that this will mean that “graduate students will not have their offices nearby to the professors.” Batakci and other members of the department’s community lament the loss of the Yost’s student lounge and the Supplemental Instructor’s room.

“This is a big issue, as proximity is important not only for the sharing of ideas but also for the building of community,” said Batakci.

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About the Contributor
Zachary Treseler
Zachary Treseler, News Editor
Zachary Treseler is a third-year student majoring in international studies and economics, with minors in art history and French. Outside of writing to The Observer (sometimes at the last minute), you might be able to catch them walking backwards around campus, in Northeast Ohio's various bookstores, or seeing a show at Playhouse Square. Zachary also makes fudge…sometimes.

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