Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) Paddyfote Complex, home to generations of students, will soon be a memory and a parking lot -at least for the near future.
Protective fencing has been erected around the complex as it is scheduled to be torn down. Pedestrians are being advised to pay close attention to construction fencing and sidewalk closures along Wahnish Way near Gamble Street. Mad Dog Construction has been contracted to complete the $915,763 demolition project.
The move is part of a long-term plan to replace aging and outdated residence halls.
“The older facilities are more expensive to maintain and renovate and are not Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant,” said William E. Hudson, Jr., Ph.D., vice president of Student Affairs. “Today’s students want modern facilities.”
Soon, the administration will present a new master plan for the Board of Trustees’ approval, Hudson said.
“Right now, the area will be used for parking until we can secure funding for new housing,” Hudson added.
The plan for new residence halls reflects the University’s efforts to remain competitive in recruiting top students.
“If we are serious about marching toward the top 100, we have to attract the types of students who are college ready and can graduate in four years,” Hudson said.
Built in 1967, Paddyfote initially housed male students in double rooms. The expanded facility then housed female students in two buildings and male students in two buildings. In its last configuration, the four-building complex housed 232 female students in single rooms.
Other aging on campus housing facilities, Diamond, McGuinn, Cropper and Wheatley halls were demolished in 2019.
In recent years, the University built Polkinghorne Village and renovated and modernized Sampson Hall and Young Hall. In 2020, the University opened FAMU Towers, a 700-bed complex on the southeast of the campus. That project was funded under the HBCU Capital Finance program. More than $100 million of that loan was forgiven as part of a massive federal COVID-19 relief package.
In anticipation of the demolition, the University offered student desks, mattresses, dressers, beds, sofas, and other furnishings to local nonprofits. The University is encouraging alumni and students who have lived in the residence hall to share their Paddyfote photos and memories on social media using the #FAMUFoteSoldiers, and #FAMUPaddyfoteMemories hashtags.