|Centennial Hall to the left. Notice the Student Activity Center|
with the old pool on the right.
I decided to do some research and came across these two pictures that highlight the area. Before the student union was built in 1963, there was Centennial Hall. The hall was originally located in Willow Run, Michigan. However, with the large numbers of men returning to campus after World War II, BW needed to accommodate for the larger than normal enrollment. The administration decided to have the hall shipped from Michigan. Centennial Hall was always a work in progress.
The Exponent (September 28, 1948) stated: “Redecorations and remodeling in Centennial Hall have put the GI Dorm back in shape for the New Year. Repairs and a new paint job in all the wings and a remodeled lounge will brighten the building.”
The end of the hall was spelled out in the October 4, 1962 Exponent. It read, “Union Nears Reality As Site is Selected. On the basis of the questionnaire survey taken last year and campus expansion, a site for the College Union has been selected. The structure will be erected on the present site of Centennial Hall and in the area to the west along Grand Street.”
However, Centennial Hall didn’t go down without a fight! The January 10, 1964 Exponent read: “Old Centennial Hall is destroyed as work begins on B-W New College Union. The wrecking crew encountered some difficulties when they broke into the reinforced concrete basement walls.”
Next time you walk over to the Strosacker Student Union or the Durst Welcome Center, perhaps you will think about ole' Centennial Hall.