MUNCIE, Ind. — An era is coming to a close as Ball State University works to remove the smokestacks that have been a visible part of the skyline along the southwest part of campus for decades.

The two smokestacks on top of the heat plant will be taken down since they are no longer needed.

The Gerald Chimney Company, a St. Louis, Missouri firm, is slowly dismantling the two smokestacks. Work should be completed by Aug. 26, according to a release from the university.

As of Aug. 8, the west stack was over halfway demolished, while the east stack was only around a quarter down. There is a live stream of the demolition made available by the university.

The deconstruction marks the final stages of the nearly $83 million geothermal project, funded through state appropriations and federal grants.

The university’s geothermal system, which was started in 2009, took over the job of heating and cooling campus in 2014. Up to that point, the plant used to billow smoke from the stacks as it burned nearly 36,000 tons of coal per year.

The heat plant has run off of natural gas fired to produce steam instead of coal since the stacks were shut down.

In order to remove the stacks, construction crews cut a hole in the base of each stack, knocking brick inward from the top of the stack down.

As the debris piles up, other crews will remove it from the base of the stack.

Source: The (Muncie) Star Press,

Information from: The Star Press,

This is an AP-Indiana Exchange story offerd by The (Muncie) Star Press.

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