The I-House has served Albion College well over the past 40 years, but it is showing its age. Beyond the issues of maintenance and repairs, the I-House’s floor plan does not meet today’s requirements for handicapped accessibility or fire safety. The multi-million dollar cost to renovate the building and bring it up to code is prohibitive.

Therefore, on Monday, December 14, 2009, we will start the demolition process.

Work has been underway in preparation for demolition. All usable building materials and furnishings have been salvaged for use elsewhere on campus. Our intent is to recycle as much of the building as possible. Community groups, such as Habitat for Humanity, have been active in salvaging usable materials. Plantings on the site will be saved to the extent possible, transplanted where appropriate, and have been offered to the College community. The building has been used as a training site for local fire departments.

Plans have been approved for redevelopment of the site into green space including a garden area featuring the courtyard sculpture and other saved landscape materials. A drawing of the new landscape plan will appear on the College’s Web site news page on December 14.

This spring, the green space will take its final shape with landscaping and walkways that will provide yet another welcoming entrance to the campus quadrangle.

After thorough review and consultation in recent months with members of the Modern Languages and Cultures faculty, the Student Affairs Division, and other interested parties, it was determined that we would move our language-learning housing to Whitehouse Hall this fall. The Center for International Education is now located in Vulgamore Hall. The College is committed to the programs that were housed in I-House and will work to find appropriate space as those programs grow and evolve.

If you have questions about the work that begins on December 14 or the scheduled power outages, please contact us.