Removal proposal helps UA

Our View

In short: Losing the smokestack near B.B. Comer will cost UA a landmark, but it is the right thing to do.

Future UA students will not have to question why there is a 240-foot non-functioning smokestack in the middle of their campus.

The UA System Board of Trustees voted Thursday to enact plans to demolish the 45-year-old Central Plant Smokestack near B.B. Comer in order to save money.

The smokestack, which has had no purpose beyond aesthetics in years, would cost the University $85,000 every five to ten years in maintenance and even more in deferred maintenance. There are many more efficient things to spend money on than a tower of brick that was rendered obsolete in 2004.

The cost of maintenance is wasteful, and every year the smokestack stands is a calculated risk. The structure could easily become even more of a liability if it were to be damaged, and there is no need to take that chance.

The savings in the budget could help pave ways for maintenance on buildings that are in more dire need of it and actually serve a purpose to the University. Older buildings on campus, such as ten Hoor Hall, need maintenance or possible remodeling to improve their efficiency as classrooms. The University has taken good measures in recent years to improve the classrooms on campus, with the construction of Shelby Hall and the forthcoming construction of a new Science and Engineering Building, and we hope that trend continues.

There is no need for the University to be paying that much money for maintenance on something that does not help students and faculty. Regardless of how this structure is demolished, whether it is blown up with the assistance of a film production company, as Trustee Jim Wilson suggested, or if it is taken down another way, it will alleviate the University of plenty of needless costs.

In times like these, when tuition costs are growing and the budgets of students and their families are shrinking, we cannot afford to hold on to a structure just because it’s been here for decades. Sometimes, it’s just dead weight.

Our View is the consensus of The Crimson White’s editorial board.