Crews begin knocking down Hancher Auditorium at U. of Iowa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Crews begin knocking down Hancher Auditorium at U. of Iowa

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

The wrecking ball is taking down a flood-damaged building on the University of Iowa's campus.

Crews are demolishing the old Hancher Auditorium, which has been closed since the 2008 floods. Part of the foundation for the new building was also poured Monday morning, right next to the demolition site. 

Demolition of the old Hancher Auditorium was something several people wanted to see, including Carol Stegink.

She was there when the building was built and made several trips there over the years.

"We could get right close, seeing them there," said Stegink, who lives in Iowa City. "It was just wonderful. You know, internationally known artists.

For younger observers the wrecking ball was just something they'd never seen before.

"You can hear all the sounds of them wrecking it and it's really cool," said McKenna Simcox, who is nine years old.

There was so much damage to the building it qualified for replacement funds from FEMA.

"We are seeing, physically, of really the soul of Hancher to the new site with the demolition of the original 1972 building and the largest concrete pour we're going to see on the new Hancher site right next door," said Rod Lehnertz, UI Facilities Management. 

People like Stegink hope the new building will draw in more of those internationally known artists.

"I hope the new building will be pleasant, easily accessible, and comfortable and cozy," said Stegink.

University officials plan to open the new building in 2016.

You can watch construction of the new building by clicking here.

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