The demolition of Polkinghorne Village began today with several blows from Florida A&M President James H. Ammons.
He and members of the FAMU leadership team gathered Monday morning to begin the project to make way for a new residential facility for students.
“We’re at the point where we’re ready to go. I just wanted to be here and be a part of it. It’s exciting,” said Ammons after tearing a portion of the roof and exterior wall away from the building. Ammons said he hopes the new facility will be a draw for prospective students.
“We want to be 15,000 students over the next five years. One of the problems that we have in recruiting students to the university is the condition of our existing housing stock,” said Ammons. “This is the beginning. It’s going to allow us to begin closing other residential halls maybe renovating or demolishing them.”
Teresa Hardee, FAMU’s chief financial officer and vice president of administrative and financial services said the estimated cost of the construction project is $35 million but “of course there are other costs like design costs. We don’t expect the whole project to be more than $48 million.”
Ammons said it had been 20 years since a residential facility had been built at FAMU.
The project is expected to be completed by August 2013.