Fresno High demolition reveals Royce Hall

July 17, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Wednesday morning crews began demolishing two buildings at Fresno High School to reveal the Historic Royce Hall.

The revealing of the historic building is the moment Fresno High School staff and alumni have been waiting for. They say Royce Hall is one of the most beautiful buildings in all of Fresno, and they are excited to get a better view of it once buildings come down.

Fresno Unified Trustee Carol Mills got the first crack at tearing down the old library and administration buildings at Fresno High School to open up the campus to view historic Royce Hall.

"Royce Hall was intended to be the centerpiece of the campus and it is such a beautiful building. It is one of the prettiest in Fresno and it has a lot of historical value so we're happy we're going to be able to showcase that again," Mills said.

People lined the streets before work to capture the moment on camera and watch the buildings known as "the bunkers" tumbel down.

"I came out at 7 a.m. when they first started it," said Fresno High Alumni Lynn Snow.

Snow and Jean Shirely said they remember what the school looked like before the buildings they refer to as an eyesore were built in 1971.

"It's so ugly it just ruined the whole front of our school, because I remember back in '59 to '61 when I left here a beautiful lawn we used to sit in and then this went up and it's just depressing," said Jean Shirely, Fresno High alumni.

Their demolition will make way for more green area at the school which has seen an expansion. Crews are finishing up two new buildings nearby.

Students, faculty and the community are excited about the project and the updates to Fresno High's campus.

"Before the bunkers got put in I could see the lights on Royce Hall, it's muted I can't see them. So when these come down I'll be able to see the school and the lights at night," Shirely said.

Mills says demolition of "the bunkers" will be complete in about a week. Crews will begin pouring concrete and start landscaping the green space at the entrance of the campus into the fall. However, the new buildings are scheduled to open for the first day of school on August 19th.

The project was funded by Measure Q funds passed by voters in 2010.


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