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Text-2-Plunge Winner Bill Schmidt pushes the ceremonial plunger to get the implosion "started."
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Going ... Going ... Gone: Wetzel Implosion

July 14, 2012

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MACOMB, IL -- Amidst cheers -- and some tears -- Wetzel Hall on the Western Illinois University campus is no more.

At exactly 7 a.m. this morning (July 14), the 42-year-old residence hall was imploded. While the preparation for the demolition took months, the implosion brought the building down in well under 10 seconds.

Text-2-Plunge contest winner William Schmidt, a senior biology major from Mokena (IL), pushed the "ceremonial plunger" to implode the building at the end of the countdown. And within seconds, the 13-story hall was nothing more than a cloud of dust and bits of concrete.

Clean-up is expected to take approximately six weeks. Once the site it completely clear and leveled, work will begin to create a park on the grounds that once held Wetzel.

Videos and photos of the implosion can also be viewed at Additional videos will be produced within the coming weeks featuring WIU alumni and staff who lived, and worked, in Wetzel, the preparation for the implosion and more.

Note: The second video embedded on this web page has no sound.

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations