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Members of the demolition crew are prepping the building for the July 1 implosion.
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Higgins Hall Celebration & Implosion July 1; Live Streaming on WIU FB, YouTube

June 16, 2017

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MACOMB, IL -- On July 1, Western Illinois University will say goodbye to the end of an era when the 50-year-old Higgins Hall is imploded. The implosion is set for 9 a.m. and will be live streamed on the University's Facebook page and You Tube channel for those former residents and friends who can't make the trip to Macomb. An alumni dinner and social will be held Friday, June 30. Higgins served as a home away from home for thousands of students home from 1967 to Spring 2013.

Alumni Social

To celebrate the memories had within the campus' tallest building, a BBQ will be held on the Thompson Hall lawn beginning at 5 p.m. Friday, June 30 for alumni and friends. Immediately following, a Student Services Social will be held from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at the Sports Corner@124 in downtown Macomb. Former Student Services employees are invited to attend. Reunion registration details can be found at

Celebration Tailgate

Beginning at 6:30 a.m. Saturday, July 1, a celebration tailgate will be held in the designated viewing area, with the implosion set to occur at 9 a.m. The viewing area map can be found at


For individuals who want to have a chance at pushing the ceremonial implosion plunger, text "HIGGINS" to 41444 to receive a secure link to a 60-second entry form or donate online at to be entered for the chance to push the ceremonial plunger. Donation options are $5 for 1 entry, $10 for 2 entries, $15 for 3 entries and $20 for 4 entries. All entries must be made by 11:59 pm Saturday, June 17.

Media Information & Drone Use/Registration

Media information, including drone use and mandatory registration for drone pilots, can be found at Drone pilots must register in advance and follow check-in procedures. Additional information and media check-in will be sent to area media closer to July 1.


Following the implosion, University Housing and Dining Services staff will hold guided walking tours from 9:30-10:30 a.m. of WIU's residence halls [note: access to Thompson Hall may be restricted July 1 due to implosion staging].

History, Memorabilia & Misc

Construction began on the $7.3 million 20-story Higgins Hall, a residence hall for women, in Fall 1966. Higgins, which was built on the seventh hole of the old golf course, opened in Fall 1967. The hall officially went off-line in May 2013. Individuals interested in purchasing a "piece" of Higgins, such as room number signage and plaques/trophies, with proceeds going to UHDS, can visit

According to Joe Roselieb, director of residential facilities, to bring Higgins to a "like-new" facility would cost approximately $48 million. Roselieb added that an estimated $1 million in operating costs will be eliminated by the demolition of the building. Once the building material is removed from the site, the area north of the parking lot will be green space. Most of the material from the building will be recycled/diverted from landfills. The Higgins Hall demolition is part of the University Housing and Dining Services master plan.


For more information about the Higgins celebration, contact Joe Roselieb at or(309) 298-3320 or post at

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations