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Iconic feed mill finishes work

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1920s-era concrete feed mill

Active demolition of the 1920s-era concrete feed mill near the University of Illinois started Nov. 16. Feed is already being made at the university’s new Feed Technology Center.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The days are numbered for a 1920s-era concrete feed mill that was a landmark near the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus for nearly a century.

Active demolition of the silos started Nov. 16, and it is expected to take several days for removal of the silos, depending on the weather, said Steven Breitwieser, manager of communications and external relations for University of Illinois Facilities and Services.

As workers disassemble sections at a time, water is sprayed to keep dust down.

Disposal of the debris from the site on St. Mary’s Road will continue through December, Breitwieser said.

Feed is already being made at the university’s new Feed Technology Center.

“The feed mill allowed our animal sciences researchers to make key nutrition discoveries serving the livestock and poultry industries for nearly 100 years. It contributed to the development of the corn-soy diet that is fed to pigs and chickens around the world,” said Rod Johnson, head of the Department of Animal Sciences.

“The old mill helped to educate generations of students at the University of Illinois, many of whom are leaders in the animal feed and nutrition fields today. With its demolition, we move forward fully into the future with our new state-of-the-art Feed Technology Center. We’re excited for the discoveries to come.”

The demolition brought attention from passersby including Jim Patton of Tuscola, who works as a janitor for the University of Illinois. He said it brought back memories of building the concrete towers when he worked for Mel Jarvis Construction of Kansas as an 18 year old.

“It was hard, but it was a lot of fun,” he said from his car as he watched the demolition.

After the silos are demolished on the university owned property, the land will be available for future redevelopment, Breitwieser said.

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