On May 19, Colorado College finally broke ground on its long-anticipated Cornerstone Arts Center, southeast of the intersection of Cascade Avenue and Cache la Poudre Street. Upon completion in January 2008, the new $30 million facility, designed by noted New Mexico architect Antoine Predock, will house a top-of-the-line auditorium, two digital media labs, a sound stage and a film-screening room, in addition to faculty and instruction space.
On May 23, the Western Excavating and Wrecking crew descended on a building that had stood in that space: the Cascade Medical Building, directly across from the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. After months of expensive asbestos and lead removal and preparatory work, the wrecking ball gloriously took flight much to the delight of onlooking college employees and passersby. Adults reduced themselves to childlike gawking and guffawing as wood and metal crumbled under the ball's force.
So, what's it like to live out every young boy's dream of smashing a structure to pieces with a skull-cracker?
"It's awesome," says demolition worker Bobby Berry. "I'm never stressed after I leave work I take out all my frustrations on the job."
But to 30-year veteran demo worker Steve Hennings, "It's a job. It's only fun for the first few years."
And then, sadly, dashing a building to bits becomes as dull as life in a cubicle: Swivel crane, hoist ball, drop ball. Repeat. Take notes, children.