Manhattan, Ks. College Fire, Aug 1957

Manhattan, Ks. College Fire, Aug 1957

Fire Destroys College Building

Manhattan, Kan. (AP) – The worst fire in the history of Kansas State College destroyed East Waters Hall yesterday. The loss is expected to exceed 1 ½ million dollars. Dr. Glen BECK, director of the School of Agriculture, said the worst loss was 50 years of agronomy experiment records on the improvement of wheat, oats and other crops.

Syracuse Herald Journal, Syracuse, NY 26 Aug 1957

$1 ½ Million Loss?

Fire Wrecks East Waters Hall At Kansas State College

Monday, August 26 – Manhattan, Kas. (AP) – The worst fire in the history of Kansas State College destroyed East Waters Hall yesterday. The loss is expected to be more than 1 ½ million dollars.

Lost were a complete flour mill, about 15 agricultural research laboratories, several classrooms and offices.

About 1,000 students had courses in the building but Dr. Glen BECK, director of the school of agriculture, said the milling and feed technology courses will begin on schedule in about three weeks.

“We will not turn away any students,” he said. “We will arrange a schedule in which we will take milling students to nearby cities to
study in mills.

Built in 1914

East Waters and West Waters halls were built in 1914. In 1952 they were connected with a center wing and two years ago a feed technology building was added to East Waters.

The center wing and technology sections were not damaged by the fire.

The five-story East Waters Hall had limestone walls and wooden floors. It was nearly a block long and about 80 feet wide.
The blaze, of unknown origin, started in the flour mill section and burned through the roof.

Dr. BECK said 50 years of agronomy experimental records on improvement of wheat, oats, and other crops were lost.

The college’s acting president, Dr. A. D. WEBER, returned from Des Moines where he was to be a judge this week at the Iowa fair.
“We are going to confer with Gov. DOCKING and other appropriate officials to determine if some emergency relief is available,” Dr. WEBER said.

State Officials Survey Damage

Topeka (AP) – Two state officials today were surveying damage caused by a fire yesterday which destroyed East Waters Hall at Kansas State College.

Gov. George DOCKING instructed William SALOME, director of the department of administration, and State Budget Director James BIBB to make recommendations on what should be done to replace the facility.

The State Finance Council is scheduled to hold a regular meeting next week. The council is empowered to make allocations from the state’s emergency fund for repair or temporary replacement of state buildings destroyed by fire.

The emergency fund totals $788,748. The fire loss is expected to be more than 1 ½ million dollars.

DOCKING instructed BIBB to determine whether money from the state building fund, financed by a one-mill statewide property tax levy, could be switched from some other projects if necessary.

One-fourth of this money is ear-marked for dormitories at the various state schools. The balance is used for other building projects. Revenue in the fund normally is spread out among projects at all schools.

Lost in the fire were a complete flour mill, about 15 agricultural research laboratories, several classrooms and offices.
DOCKING said the question arises as to how important the milling program is and how many students take the course.

Salina Journal, Salina, KS 26 Aug 1957