FAMU should not tear down Truth Hall

Truth Hall, a women residence hall on campus that hasn’t housed students since 2020. Photo courtesy: rattlernation.blogspot.com

On February 8, 2022, Florida A&M University announced that they will be demolishing Truth Hall, a women’s residence hall on campus.

The hall was built in 1958 and provided housing for female upperclassmen students. The building is four stories, with double rooms and community bathrooms on each floor.

Other amenities included a lobby, laundry room, study rooms and a computer lab. It was able to house up to 106 students. It has not housed students since late 2020, as it became vacant because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the FAMU website, the building needed “a major overhaul” and was plagued with many problems such as leaking water, piping issues, deteriorating windows and many more.

The building was not up to Americans with Disabilities Act requirements and is unsafe for current students to reside in.

The announcement of Truth Hall’s demolition has also been met with many mixed opinions. The Tallahassee NAACP and NAPAAHC have asked FAMU not to demolish the hall.

Delaitre Hollinger, the President and CEO of National Association for the Preservation of African American History and Culture, Inc says he hopes that the university will consider the cultural significance of the hall.

Many current FAMU students and alumni have also taken to social media to voice their opinions on the demolition of Truth Hall. Many felt the same way about the destruction of the beloved Paddyfoote complex, which was destroyed earlier last year.

This poses the question: Why does FAMU continue to demolish buildings on campus with historical significance instead of repairing them?

Truth Hall, and many other demolished buildings that were on FAMU’s campus have historical value and mean a lot to many FAMU alumni and current students. These buildings are priceless and should be preserved as the history that they have is something that cannot be replaced.

While it is positive that FAMU is listening to the concerns of its current student body and doing its best to meet their needs, that does not have to be done with the demolition of buildings that are historic to the university.

Instead of demolition, Truth Hall can be listed under the National Register of Historic Places and restored, since the building is old enough to be considered for the list. It can be restored and seen as a historic sight for people to tour.

Historic Buildings on campus can still be preserved while continuing to expand on campus for current and future students. It is important to expand without getting rid of the rich history that made FAMU what it is today.

Hopefully FAMU can take the concerns of students and alumni seriously and reconsider the demolition of Truth Hall. The hall means a lot to FAMU’s history and is something that shouldn’t disappear.