Damaged Dormitory Being Demolished

The Sylmar earthquake gave it a jolt in 1971. Then the Northridge temblor left it reeling four years ago. And finally Monday morning, a demolition crew at Cal State Northridge delivered a knockout blow to the University Tower Apartments--the last of five quake-damaged buildings being razed to make way for new campus projects.

About 40 people gathered in an adjacent parking lot to watch as a 6,000-pound steel ball repeatedly smashed into the seven-story dormitory. The $1-million demolition project will continue through August to destroy the 29-year-old brick and concrete apartment complex.

Some spectators viewed the demolition as cathartic, clearing away the last vestiges of the 1994 Northridge earthquake and making room for the university's future--a proposed 12-acre entertainment industry complex. But others said they were nostalgic, sensing the end of an era.

"It's sad. I spent two years of my life here," said Deborah Anthony, 38, a nurse who graduated in 1983.

Funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, San-Diego based Clauss Construction will raze the building, clean up the site and prepare the concrete and steel for recycling, said Patrick Clauss, the firm's president.

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