Old Shepard Hall torn down


The old annex portion of Shepard Hall was torn down this week, starting May 9.

“It’s a 1920s building,” said Dave Law, the project manager. “It wasn’t structurally sound enough to house modern labs.”

Law said the building (Old Shepard) was being used almost entirely as “sling space.” This term refers to the temporary offices that are now in the completed Avera Health and Science Center.

The university will now have room to expand the Avera Center’s loading dock area to the north, and the rest of the cleared off land will be used for green space, Law said.

Before the Avera Center, Shepard Hall was SDSU’s chemistry and pharmacy building. It was named after James Shepard, who in 1888 started as a chemistry professor in the South Dakota Agricultural College and in 1895 was one of the first directors of the Agricultural Experiment Station.

Lawrence Novotny, a long-time SDSU employee, watched Old Shepard’s demise. Novotny worked in the building for part of his 40-year employment at SDSU. He said the building was completed in 1929 after a fire destroyed the first chemistry and pharmacy building in 1928.

The newer part of Shepard Hall that was built in the 1960s became part of the Avera Center. Novotny said it was a waste that the building carrying Shepard’s name was removed from campus.

“I think it’s kind of a shame,” Novotny said.

Law said this demolition was part of the entire project for the Avera Center, which came to $43.5 million. A majority of this money came from donors.

Workers will be cleaning up the remains for the next couple weeks, Law said.

Susan Smith contributed to this report.