West Virginia Wesleyan College razes the Camden Apartments on Monday, July 1.
West Virginia Wesleyan College razes the Camden Apartments on Monday, July 1.

BUCKHANNON – After housing students at West Virginia Wesleyan College for 37 years, demolition began on the Camden Avenue Apartments Monday morning.

Wesleyan Chief Financial Officer Scott McKinney said the decision to raze Camden Apartments was made due to high maintenance costs.

“Originally envisioned to meet the demand for suite-style housing and a growing student body in the early 1980s, the Camden complex became a popular choice among students for 37 years with its bigger rooms and quiet study atmosphere,” McKinney said in an email to My Buckhannon.

“However, the complex became increasingly expensive to maintain with a significant portion of the general maintenance budget devoted to its upkeep. Thus, a decision was made to demolish the complex and create a green space for the college, directly facing Wesley Chapel.”

Director of marketing Larry Orman said the building in the rear of the complex would be completely razed Monday.

“They are demoing the one in the back,” Orman told My Buckhannon Monday morning. “The first one is going down today, and then over the next couple of days, they plan to do a building a day. It’s pretty dramatic.”

The building that sits furthest from Camden Avenue is the first to be demolished.
The building that sits farthest from Camden Avenue is the first to be demolished.

In recent years, WVWC has been renovating a number of properties adjacent to the campus on Meade Street and College Avenue for apartment living.

McKinney said, “In anticipation of the eventual demolition of the Camden complex and ongoing renewal of campus facilities, the college converted several rental houses near the campus into independent living options for students in recent years. Although current students and alumni will miss the buildings on Camden Avenue when they return to campus, a broad range of living options will still be available that will serve current students.”

Once the space has been cleared, grass will be planted.

“We hope friends of the college will take time to visit the green space that will be developed in the Camden area for the purpose of cherishing memories of the past while eagerly supporting the Wesleyan experience that continues to positively impact so many lives,” McKinney said.

Anchor Works LLC out of Clarksburg is performing the demolition for the college.