Asbestos removal begins at Fairmount Towers next week


Brian Hayes

Fairmount Towers, formerly student housing, will be demolished by spring of 2019.

Crews will begin removing asbestos from the Fairmount Towers Complex next week in preparation for the building’s demolition, according to a university press release.

In Fairmount Towers’ 50 years of operation, “the asbestos was not in a state that exposed anyone living or working in the building to risk,” the release said, but it will be removed in accordance with state regulations to ensure the community’s safety during demolition.

Blake Hall, which is also slated for demolition, contains a small amount of asbestos, but because of its “type and location,” does not require special precautions, the release said.

The Fairmount Towers demolition project is set for completion by spring of 2019.

Wichita State announced last summer that Fairmount Towers would cease operation — saying the facility had “reached the end of its useful life.”

About a month before move-in day, the 300 students planning to live there this school year, were moved to The Flats, a privately-owned apartment complex on Innovation Campus.

The Kansas Board of Regents Inventory of Physical Facilities and Space Utilization report rates building conditions at state institutions on a scale of 0-100. In the January 2017 report, Fairmount Towers was given a 76, which falls into the “fair” category.

Building conditions for student housing at other state universities ranged between 45 and 95.

Blake Hall, which used to house the university radio station, KMUW 89.1, got a 49.