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The structure, shown here after sustaining damage in December 2018, is slated to be fully cleared by month’s end.
Photo provided by Evangel University
The structure, shown here after sustaining damage in December 2018, is slated to be fully cleared by month’s end.

Evangel removing WWII-era building

Posted online

Last edited 2:28 p.m., March 15, 2019

Evangel University is demolishing a World War II-era building adjacent to its campus.

Evangel spokesman Paul Logsdon said the building at the southwest corner of Glenstone Avenue and Division Street sits on land owned by the Assemblies of God. The over 90-acre Evangel campus is a separate deed, he said.

The building, which was originally built as a gym for O'Reilly General Hospital, had been used for storage in recent years until December 2018, when it sustained damage during high winds, according to a news release. Logsdon said the building became part of Evangel through the merger with Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in 2013. It’s among the last of the WWII-era buildings at Evangel.

“It’s the last of the wooden buildings,” he said, noting the former O’Reilly hospital alongside North Glenstone Avenue formed the framework for Evangel during the 1960s and ‘70s. “There is one concrete building left; it’s the boiler house.”

David Rensch Construction is serving as the demolition contractor with a goal of clearing the site by month’s end. An Amish crew began removing the metal siding late last week, and this week they began taking down posts and beams.

“An Amish crew has been hired by the demolition contractor to remove whatever materials that they can re-use in lieu of hauling it off to the landfill,” said Brian Hauff, director of facilities for Evangel, in the release. “This is one way Evangel has promoted environmental stewardship.”

Logsdon said after the demolition work is complete, grass would be planted on the lot for future use by the school.

Evangel was built on land that housed O’Reilly General Hospital, caring for some 44,000 wounded soldiers during the war. It closed after WWII and reopened as Veterans Administration Hospital until 1952. The Assemblies of God received 58 acres of donated land to build Evangel after the closure of the hospital.

Amish crews have over the years reused materials from dozens of old buildings at Evangel for other construction projects.

“On the other hand, several of the barracks were put on wheels in the 1950s and ’60s, transported from the campus and used for other purposes in Springfield and surrounding communities,” Logsdon said in the release.

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Patti Myers

Whatever happened to the log cabin that used to sit near that corner, on their campus?

Friday, March 15
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