The hallways of Bostic Hall residential facility are empty this semester, as the university prepares to demolish the historic building on Savannah State's campus. Bostic Hall residents were relocated to the Freshman Living and Learning Center for the Spring 2019 semester to clear way for the university to tear the older facility down.
Physical Plant Superintendent Kellie Fletcher says Bostic will be demolished during the summer, and it will be replaced with a larger housing facility. The new building will house more students, and it will replace both Bostic and Bowen halls, Fletcher said.
There is no timeline for when or if Bowen-Smith Hall will be torn down, but students will not be assigned to the residential hall starting in Fall 2019. No plans have been set for the area, Fletcher said.
Bostic Hall is the only building on campus that is named after a student. Melvin Bostic, a war veteran, came to Savannah State College in 1972. He was murdered while he raising money for a scholarship. According to the story, white men were in a car and attempted to steal the money Bostic had collected from him. In a failed effort to fight back, Bostic was dragged by the car and run over. The school named the residential hall after him to keep his legacy and story alive.
While some students were upset to learn the Bostic Hall would knocked down, Fletcher said she would find a way to preserve the bricks and the name in some way, as it remains a piece of the institution's history. she said she is making an effort to make all freshmen residential housing in the circle of the university an historic landmark.
Though students feel excitement for a newer housing facility, they are also frustrated that the new building is not named after Bostic.
“I believe it’s a way to get rid of the last bit of history that we still have on this campus,” sociology major, Latia Carter, said. “As a HBCU we are based off the history of those before us. So if we get rid of Bostic, we are removing what Melvin Bostic did for the students of this institution.”
Africana Studies major, Dejanerra Mugford, agreed. “To take away an idol building that represents a fellow students is to take away the essence of a university as a whole,” she said.