News Article: Yikes, did they implode Tutwiler Hall!

4Q Basket Case

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Building a new one is the reason
It's already built. Or at least substantially so. There might be some last punch list details to sort out, but it's supposed to house students for the fall semester. While I haven't seen the inside, it looks palatial on the exterior.

Earlier this afternoon I drove past the pile of rubble that is the former Tutwiler....an old high school classmate's company has 30 days to get it hauled off, and I imagine he'll start tomorrow AM.

To accompany the new dorm, the University also built a huge new parking deck on what had most recently been a parking lot.

If you're a member of the OFC (or a middle-aged Tuscaloosa native) you might remember the deck's location as the playground for the original Verner Elementary School.
 
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DzynKingRTR

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It's already built. Or at least substantially so. There might be some last punch list details to sort out, but it's supposed to house students for the fall semester. While I haven't seen the inside, it looks palatial on the exterior.

Earlier this afternoon I drove past the pile of rubble that is the former Tutwiler....an old high school classmate's company has 30 days to get it hauled off, and I imagine he'll start tomorrow AM.

To accompany the new dorm, the University also built a huge new parking deck on what had most recently been a parking lot.

If you're a member of the OFC (or a middle-aged Tuscaloosa native) you might remember the deck's location as the playground for the original Verner Elementary School.
I would guess that the C.O. (certificate of occupancy) has been issued by now for the new building? Got to have that before anyone is allowed inside. If they are opening for the fall semester I would think that is done or already in the process.

I wonder what they will do with the lot now?
 

4Q Basket Case

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I would guess that the C.O. (certificate of occupancy) has been issued by now for the new building? Got to have that before anyone is allowed inside. If they are opening for the fall semester I would think that is done or already in the process.

I wonder what they will do with the lot now?
Regarding the CO -- I don't know. Just looking at the exterior and the calendar, you'd have to think that it's in hand, or only formalities left.

Regarding what will go on the old Tutwiler's site -- good question. I don't know that one either.

Personally, I'd like to see some greenspace...that part of campus has evolved to being virtually all buildings and blacktop, so a park would be attractive. You've got me curious about plans are for the now-vacant space.
 

DzynKingRTR

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Regarding the CO -- I don't know. Just looking at the exterior and the calendar, you'd have to think that it's in hand, or only formalities left.

Regarding what will go on the old Tutwiler's site -- good question. I don't know that one either.

Personally, I'd like to see some greenspace...that part of campus has evolved to being virtually all buildings and blacktop, so a park would be attractive. You've got me curious about plans are for the now-vacant space.
The architect in me always wonders thing like that. Green space would be nice and probably needed.
 

4Q Basket Case

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The architect in me always wonders thing like that. Green space would be nice and probably needed.
Late information from Mrs. Basket Case. She lived in the old place for a year and a half, so she and a buddy met to watch the demolition. In the course of all that, they spoke with a University employee who said that the plans were for green space, some walking trails, etc.

Good news if accurate.
 

4Q Basket Case

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Why? I'm sure it was still in much better shape than roach infested McCorvey was.
I’m not sure whether blue font was intended or not.

The old Tutwiler was over 50 years old. Its rooms were far smaller than are standard today, and it had far fewer amenities.

Higher education is a high fixed cost / low marginal cost business model.

IOW, it costs a boatload of money to acquire all the infrastructure — dorms, classrooms, labs, professors, etc. But once all that stuff is in place, it doesn’t cost much of anything to put the next student through the program.

The key to success in that model is top-line revenue. Which, in the case of a flagship state institution, is further enhanced by out-of-state students.

The OOS kids pay more than double in-state tuition, but cost the same to educate as IS kids. And as noted, the marginal cost of educating the next student is minimal.

The old Tutwiler was not conducive to attracting IS students who had options to go elsewhere, or to OOS students paying a bunch of money. Either way, a lot of parents felt like they could get more for their money elsewhere.

So the University built a dorm delivers what today’s market demands — not because the old Tutwiler was no longer functional, but because it was costing them students and therefore money.
 
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DzynKingRTR

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I’m not sure whether blue font was intended or not.

The old Tutwiler was over 50 years old. Its rooms were far smaller than are standard today, and it had far fewer amenities.

Higher education is a high fixed cost / low marginal cost business model.

IOW, it costs a boatload of money to acquire all the infrastructure — dorms, classrooms, labs, professors, etc. But once all that stuff is in place, it doesn’t cost much of anything to put the next student through the program.

The key to success in that model is top-line revenue. Which, in the case of a flagship state institution, is further enhanced by out-of-state students.

The OOS kids pay more than double in-state tuition, but cost the same to educate as IS kids. And as noted, the marginal cost of educating the next student is minimal.

The old Tutwiler was not conducive to attracting IS students who had options to go elsewhere, or to OOS students paying a bunch of money. Either way, a lot of parents felt like they could get more for their money elsewhere.

So the University built a dorm that fills the requirements — not because the old Tutwiler was no longer functional, but because it was costing them students and therefore money.
Probably saving on energy costs with a new building. Those old buildings cost a lot to keep cooled and heated. I assume renovations were done, but still not the same.

Also, sometimes green space can cost as much as or more than a new building. Those darn landscape architects are expensive.
 

4Q Basket Case

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Can Coleman be next?
Sort of.

Here's the deal that we've heard floated:

A lot of the expense in replacing Coleman is in ancillary stuff that the general public doesn't often see -- coaches' offices (for a bunch of sports), meeting rooms, practice facilities, workout rooms, etc., etc. There’s at least one, and I’m pretty sure there are two levels below the basketball court where we all see games played. Plus Coleman is built like a nuclear bunker. Demolition and full rebuild is prohibitively expensive.

So what's being proposed is a competition arena for basketball and gymnastics at a location TBD. I think a good place would be somewhere near the softball stadium, but that's just me.

Anyway, the competition arena would house the playing floor itself, fan seating, locker rooms, concessions, several levels of upgraded seating experiences, and would be used for actual games only.

Coleman would continue to house coaches' offices, practice facilities, meeting rooms, yadda yadda yadda.

Again, all this is conceptual. They haven't firmed up location, timing of the construction, the nature of the upgraded seating experiences, or their price to the fans.

One big advantage to this setup, though, is that home games and meets wouldn't have to be shifted off campus (i.e., to Birmingham) during the construction period. We'll just have to see how the PTB shake it all out.

Regardless of the various aspects of the sausage-making process, I promise you: Everybody everywhere, from Stuart Bell and Greg Byrne down to the newest setup crew trainee, recognizes that a third renovation of Coleman would be putting lipstick on a pig, and wants the games moved elsewhere.
 
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GrayTide

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My earliest memory of Tutwiler was in the summer of 1969. I was pinned to a girl from Mobile who had graduated, while I had to finish up in summer school. Well, she was in Mobile and I was in Tuscaloosa. I met a hot girl who went to USM who was taking several courses that summer at Alabama. She lived in Tutwiler and I was a regular there for most of the summer. So one Friday night I go to Tutwiler to pickup my date. The elevator doors opened and riding together was the girl I had been dating all summer and the girl I was pinned to. You talk about getting caught red-handed. They both walked up to me and, I had to come clean. Well the girl from Mobile slapped me and threw my pin at me and both of them stormed off not together. The lobby was crowded and everyone there had a good laugh. I never saw either one of those girls again. The next time I was in Tutwiler was to move my daughter in, in August of 2000.
 

CrimsonTheory

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My biggest regret in life was never attending/graduating Alabama. I remember going to Tuscaloosa as a senior (and the future look so promising when you are 18) and seeing Tutwiler as part of the tour. Best part of the tour was that I got to chat with Shaun Alexander for a few minutes. As an 18 year old starry eyed naive kid, that still remains the coolest moment of my life.
 

Zorak

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I was in Tuscaloosa when they imploded it. Took the kids by it the day before so they could see how big it was. I had an alarm set to get up and take my kids to see it, but I slept through it. We woke up in enough time to catch the live stream though. Drove nearby it later that day (lunchtime, so maybe 5 hours later) so they could see the debris. I snapped two pictures from my car, driving up 8th Avenue (I lived back in that area for two years while at Bama as an undergrad, so I also showed them where I used to live). Pictures aren’t great but still show the void where the old Tutwiler was, and the dust that spread around the nearby areas.
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PaulD

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A lot of the expense in replacing Coleman is in ancillary stuff that the general public doesn't often see -- coaches' offices (for a bunch of sports), meeting rooms, practice facilities, workout rooms, etc., etc. There’s at least one, and I’m pretty sure there are two levels below the basketball court where we all see games played. Plus Coleman is built like a nuclear bunker. Demolition and full rebuild is prohibitively expensive.
I remember getting a post card a couple of weeks before my bachelors graduation in 1977 telling me to be at such and such a place at a lower lever of Memorial Coliseum (I want to call it the undercroft, but that's the church guy in me) at a particular time to be in the right place in the procession.
 

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