So long, Long Hall

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Workers demolish John Maloy Long Hall at Troy University in Troy, Ala., Wednesday, July 25, 2012. (Messenger Staff Photo/Thomas Graning)

Long Hall reduced to rubble to make way for state-of-the-art facility

At 8:01 a.m. Wednesday, the first bricks fell from the side of John Maloy Long Hall on the campus of Troy University.

The building, built in 1975, is being demolished to make way for a new facility bearing the same name.

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“My granddaughter cut the ribbon on it when she was a child and it first opened,” Dr. John M. Long, former director of bands at the university. “I had a lot of wonderful times over there, but I know there will be many more memories made in the new building.”

Long Hall was constructed on the Troy campus as a rehearsal facility for the award-winning “Sound of the South” marching band.

The new building will house the band program and provide rehearsal space for the Choral Program, rehearsal spaces for ensembles and performance groups, a dance studio and offices for the Long School of Music and the College of Communication and Fine Arts.

“The facility will be one of the finest of its kind in the nation,” said Dr. Mark Walker, director of bands at the university.

By 8:30 a.m., the four walls of the octagon-shaped building facing Collegedale Street were down and there was a clear view into the band hall.

“I watched some of it come down,” Long said. “It was much faster than I thought it would be. The machines tore it down like it was a piece of paper.”

Two excavators moved back and forth in the parking lot behind Long Hall working to bring the building down.

“I drove around it in my car and took one last look,” Long said.




Long, who served as director of bands from 1965 to 1996, worked in many roles at the university. He was the chair of the music department, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and dean of the School of fine Arts. Under his direction, the “Sound of the South” represented the state in four presidential inaugural parades and served as the official band for two presidential visits to Alabama.

“[The building] will be a suitable tribute to Dr. Long’s legacy and achievements not only at Troy University, but as an influential band director and educator throughout the United States.”

The construction of Long Hall is expected to take 12 to 15 months and is estimated at $7.5 million.

Former Troy band member John Phillips (class of 2003) said he had mixed feelings about the demolition of Long Hall.

“Some of my best and worst memories from Troy are in that octagon-shaped room,” said Phillips, who was a music education major. “Everybody remembers the first fanfare they play in that room and the way it comes back and surrounds you.”

Phillips said he remembers talk of renovating or expanding Long Hall 10 years ago. He said he was proud of the university for increasing music education at Troy when so many other schools are cutting back.

“I’ve got memories in that hall, but Troy is taking off and I’m excited that I played just a little piece of that puzzle. I am more proud than ever to be a ‘Sound of the South’ alumnus.”

Long said he’s excited to see the new building where, now, only a pile of bricks and concrete blocks lay.

“It’s sad to see it go,” Long said. “But the thing that makes it better is we know it is going to be so much nicer. The best times are yet to come for the band.”

No final plans or renderings have been adopted for the new Long Hall, at this time, according to University Relations.