By Meowcat the Democrat
An anonymous student recently reported that John G. Fee’s ghost appeared to them in their dorm room, moaning and shrieking horribly about the imminent destruction of the Edwards Building. They immediately reported this information to The Berea Torch (you can report any other instances of paranormal activity on Berea’s Campus Here), noting, “I’m not really sure where Edwards was, but Fee seemed really upset!”
Berea Torch investigators immediately began researching the situation with two questions in mind. First, did this have anything to do with all the flickering lights on campus? We had initially put that down to poor system upkeep on the part of the college, but this raised the serious possibility that John G. Fee’s ghost was attempting to send messages to the community. Second, and more immediately answerable, what was Fee talking about with the Edwards building?
It turns out that the Edwards Building is that old brick building no one ever goes into right between Stephenson and Emery. It also turns out it is over 100 years old, students made the bricks from local clay, and student bricklayers built the building (along with Phelps Stokes)!
It also turns out that the Board of Trustees is deciding this weekend whether to pursue renovating the Edwards Building or destroying it and rebuilding it 100 feet to the left. The building is extremely old, and there have been reports that people working inside it often feel endangered by potential pollutants in the air, so something definitely has to be done. Renovating it to preserve its historic value certainly seems like the obvious choice, but it will cost the college an extra three million dollars. On the other hand, the proposed knockdown and start-over plan also include knocking down 38 trees to make way for the modern replacement.
Quite a few students, staff, and faculty are upset, along with Fee’s ghost, about their lack of input into the Trustee’s decision—emails have been flying. Thursday’s General Faculty Meeting is reported to have gone on an extra half-hour as the faculty almost unanimously voiced their disapproval of demolition without further community input.
Will the Trustees choose to save money by chopping down a few trees and knocking down an old building, or will they shell out to make the community happy? The results remain to be seen.