Tearing down buildings, replacing household names, and forgetting the original roots of Tech is happening on campus now more than ever before. Tech’s master plan was approved in Oct. of 2017. The plan includes demolition of Young Ballroom, Stadium Suites, Tucker hall and Witherspoon. These plans have yet to happen.
We at the Arka Tech ask the university to preserve the history of our university. Tech losing history has already begun, however; with the destruction of Roush Hall and the Stroupe Building in the spring of 2018. Now parking spaces and a student volleyball sandpit have been established where those buildings once stood. With their destruction, these names have been mostly forgotten by new Tech students.
Roush Hall was dedicated on Homecoming day 1963 and named after Myrtle Roush, who served on the library staff at Tech from 1932-69. Her history is forgotten, with no monument or plaque at the site where the building once was.
The Stroupe building was alive during an era when the Wonder Boy’s dominance in basketball was at an all-time high. The team had 11 Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference titles and two NAIA semifinal berths. The building was named after Henry Stroupe, who served the college from 1911 to 1933 and was a former member of the Board of Trustees. His history, like Myrtles, is gone.
This is not to say that we are condemning this master plan. In fact, The Arka Tech is welcoming this change. Change is a part of life, but forgetting the past should not be. Tearing down buildings is the answer to issues like weather damage, outdated plumbing, or cost. Buildings have to be demolished, but why can Tech not find a way that honors those they are named after?
If Tech keeps going without honoring the past, these names will be nothing for feature generations that come to campus. The Arka Tech would like to preserve the honor of those the buildings were named after. We believe this can be achieved by adding a plaque in the building site, creating a monument or hanging a photo of the building with information of the person in the library or the new structure built over it.
The Arka Tech is worried that the university planning to tear down these buildings will result in Tech losing a lot of it’s ingrained history. We ask the university to not let the legacy of these people be lost to history.