GSU prepares to tear down Kell Hall

GSU prepares to tear down Kell Hall

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In the 1940s after World War II, many colleges saw a spike in the number of enrolled veterans looking for an education.  The school that is now known as Georgia State University was one of them.  When they needed space for those veterans, the school quickly transformed an old parking structure into classrooms.  

In 1925, it was built as Atlanta's first parking garage.  Twenty years later, it because a classroom building.  Now in 2013, the concrete ramps still circle up and down the building known as Kell Hall.  Soon, it will be a thing of the past as Georgia State plans for the future.

The Ivy Street garage was once considered an automobile hotel, holding 600 cars and offering white-glove valet, car washes, and mechanic services.

After World War II, enrollment at what is now Georgia State was booming.  With not much time or money to waste, the school bought the deck and renovated the inside into classrooms and labs—but they left the concrete ramps in place.  They're still used by students 88 years later.  

One of the many reasons that the ramps stayed is that they wanted to help out a growing number of wounded veterans coming back home after the war.  Some students didn't even know they were walking where Ford Model T's used to park.  

Now, as part of GSU's 10-year plan, the ramps will come down along with the building.  The school is making room for green space in the heart of the campus. The courtyard will be transformed, but there's still a chance you'll see the ramps again.  GSU president Mark Becker says he has had a few alums ask if they can keep them, but he's not sure how it would be possible.  

The transformation on campus will take about five years to complete, but when it's done, there will be a lot less concrete and a lot more grass and green space for students.

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