SALEM, W.Va. (WBOY) — Salem University has begun the demolition of its old administration building to create a space for both university students and community members to utilize and enjoy.

What most residents and Salem University correspondents refer to as “the old admin building,” located at 223 West Main Street in Salem, is being torn down for a “number of factors” according to Salem University’s executive director of campus development, Camm Lounsbury, though the greatest factor being to create greater opportunities.

“The opportunity is arising to turn this into more of a green space, more of a community space where we can enhance our ability to engage with the community, engage with the City of Salem. There are a number of ideas on the table that can be used to better develop the area so that there’s more community engagement,” Lounsbury said in an interview with 12 News.

The building was established in 1909 for Salem University’s, then College, administrative functions. Though since its abandonment, the building has grown to be dilapidated over the years.

Lounsbury said that the Salem University Alumni Association has mentioned creating an “alumni plaza” for students and the community of Salem to utilize.

Salem University plans to use salvageable materials from the demolition on the alumni plaza, like using bricks from the admin building for the plaza walkway. The structure wall and the archway that reads “Salem College” will also remain in commemoration.

12 News also spoke with the Salem city manager, Jeff Edwards, about the city’s perspective of the change.

“I think it’s wonderful,” Edwards said, “I think it’s a wonderful thing to have the university and the city working together, but not just simply on this project, but many more things to come. This is just the beginning. The main goal is just getting the community and the university students interacting with each other.”

Although there is no set date to determine the end of the admin building’s demolition, it is expected to be finished by next week.

The city of Salem also has some notable events upcoming, like the special expansion day of the community farmer’s market on Sept. 23 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., along with children and family activities. The Apple Butter Festival will also be returning to Salem this year from Oct. 5-8.