Gyte Annex to be demolished

PNW is demolishing one of the oldest buildings on campus to make way for its newest.

The Gyte Annex, constructed in 1954 as an industrial research building for the Inland Steel Corporation, will be torn down beginning this week.  For the past 53 years, it has been home to guidance centers, laboratories, reading clinics, offices, classrooms and, intermittently, the Practical Nursing Program.

Building evaluations completed in 1997 and 2000 concluded that Gyte Annex needed major renovations. The new Nils K. Nelson Bioscience Innovation building was funded and constructed in direct response to the fact that the Gyte Annex is out of date.

“The building had poor ventilation, uncomfortable working conditions and an obsolete learning environment,” said Jacob Lenson, assistant vice chancellor of Campus Planning, Project and Space Management. “Since the building has no architectural significance and no infrastructure to support modern technology, the university determined that investing resources in this facility offered a limited return.”

The upper level of Gyte Annex was occupied by Inland Steel for 13 years after its construction. In 1967, the building was handed over to what was then Purdue Calumet, a growing university desperately in need of space.

“To meet curricular requirements, accreditation standards and the goals of the strategic plan, the university requires facilities that support modern technology and evolving instructional techniques,” said Lenson. “Facilities of this nature are key to attracting and retaining leading-edge faculty, attracting and retaining students and serving the northwest Indiana community.

The space where the Gyte Annex is located will be turned into green space. An exterior walkway connecting the Gyte Building, the Powers Building and the Potter Building will maintain the Peregrine Path, said Lenson.

“The North entrance of the Gyte building and the south entrance of the Potter and Powers Buildings also will be reconstructed, as these currently connect directly into the Gyte Annex,” he said.

The demolition is expected to be completed by Aug. 11.