The Leonard Center stands on the site of the former fieldhouse, circa 1954. As part of Macalester’s commitment to sustainability, Macalester set two goals for the demolition of the old building: minimize materials sent to a landfill and preserve and repurpose as much of the building as possible. As a result, an astounding 93.7% by weight of the old building was reused or recycled. Local salvage companies took bleachers, lockers, benches, casework, plumbing fixtures, saunas, hand dryers and handrails. A church now uses the bleachers, and local residents repurposed bricks. However, the most dramatic and creative reuse was the deconstruction and then reconstruction of the fieldhouse super-structure as a horse barn.
Veit construction company owner, Vaughn Veit was looking to build a horse barn for the Maple Hills Stable Company. When he saw the fieldhouse, he envisioned the fieldhouse superstructure as that horse barn. Macalester wanted to reuse as much of the building as possible, so a meticulous deconstruction process followed. The deconstruction included labeling fieldhouse pieces and a menagerie of cranes and forklifts to take apart the building and haul it to Monticello, MN for reassembly.
The new horse barn reused 100 tons of lumber and 10 arch beams from the fieldhouse. Another dramatic feature is Veit removed and rebuilt the old north entry to the gymnasium, which had been a feature inside the natatorium since 1983.
Also, the barn is lit with lights from the old fieldhouse and horses will keep cool with fans. The wiring for both lights and fans is fieldhouse salvaged copper wire and conduit. In addition, a spiral staircase to the second floor office and apartment was originally a spiral staircase leading to the track at Macalester. The horsebarn also used salvaged materials from 15 other sites.
On, July 2, 2009, Facilities Services Director Mark Dickinson and Sustainability Manager Suzanne Savanick Hansen toured the horse barn along with representatives from Veit and McGough Construction.
Other press about this project: Geisler, Chuck, “Materials Reuse Helps Minnesota College Preserve the Past,” Demolition, January/February, 2009, p. 6-13.