WEDNESDAY, May 17 — Demolition of one of Lansing Community College’s most recognizable — if not aesthetically pleasing — landmarks began today. Crews are working to disassemble the Gannon Building’s mushroom-shaped air ventilation shaft, which has long loomed over the downtown campus’ southern entrance near the intersection of Shiawassee Street and Washington Avenue.
Like many of LCC’s buildings, the brick and cement air ventilation shaft was built in the mid-1960s, when brutalist architecture was popular. The shaft was originally used for LCC’s welding program, but when the program moved to the college’s West Campus, it no longer served a purpose and became an eyesore.
The tower is being dismantled to make room for Granger Tower, a new six-story clock tower. Tony Causley, the president’s office project coordinator for LCC, said the air ventilation shaft will not be completely torn down.
“The original structure of the ventilation shaft will be used for the creation of the new Granger Tower,” Causley said.
Granger Tower is donated by Glenn Granger, president and CEO of Granger Construction, and his wife, Trish Granger. The Granger Tower will be dedicated to Granger’s parents, Alton and Janice Granger, for supporting education opportunities in Lansing.
“This tower will serve as a visual centerpiece for the downtown campus,” said LCC President Brent Knight in August, when the project was announced. “I am grateful to the Grangers for their generous support.”
The project is just one of Knight’s many moves to beautify the campus. In addition to massive building remodeling projects in recent years, the campus has also seen an infusion of sculpture and public art and an increased dedication to landscaping.
Workers today began the process of taking the top — the mushroom cap, if you will — off of the ventilation shaft. The construction should be finalized by the fall.
“Through using the original structure, the new clock tower will be a wonderful landmark for the downtown Lansing area” Causley said. “There will also be chimes that ring on the hour, every hour from the clock tower.”