Work continues in Huron to convert the old Huron University Campus into a park and aquatic center.
A contractor tore down a staple building of the campus Monday. The progress is exciting, yet sad for many.
As buildings go down on the campus, former instructor Gene W. Denison remembers well when it closed.
"Made a difference and everybody felt it," Denison said.
The city didn't have the hundreds of students and staff spending money in the community anymore and there wasn't activity on the campus.
Living right next door, Mark Chamberlain already knew the university wasn't coming back. But with the demolition, the truth is really setting in.
"The university was part of the community for a long time so there is some sadness there. But it's going to go onto other things. And that's a good thing," Chamberlain said.
A $12 million project is what's going in its place to give new life to the old campus.
Gene Schorzmann has been watching the project's progress. He's optimistic about activity coming to the campus site and the community as well.
"It's sad to see it go but that's progress," Schorzmann said.
He plans to monitor that progress as the project moves forward. Just as the campus was an economic boost in its day, city leaders hope the new park will be a draw as well.
Still, as the campus goes down, Schorzmann can't help but think of the past. Denison's 30 years of memories teaching aren't crumbling with the brick and mortar either.
"It was a good time. I really enjoyed the school," Denison said.
Even though the campus won't be there anymore, designers incorporated parts of it into the water park. It will feature cornerstones of the various buildings and will have picnic shelters named after places on campus as well.
The park should be open in 2013.