By Amanda Dyslin
Free Press Staff Writer
MANKATO — With the news of Gage dorm’s impending demolition came phone calls. Lots of phone calls.
Requests came in for doorknobs, mirrors and other memorabilia so that alumni of Minnesota State University could have a keepsake from their freshman residence hall.
Those conversations — as well as advice from an architect to remove memorabilia before asbestos abatement begins — gave the Alumni Relations department an idea.
Each of the 626 mailbox doors in Gage has a unique number, and all were used by thousands of students over the years.
So they decided alumni would probably love to buy them, said Jen Myers, interim director of alumni relations and special events.
“We thought the mailboxes were really unique — one of a kind,” she said.
For $15, people can buy a mailbox door. Reservations have to be made by Feb. 25, but more than 150 already have been purchased. So Myers is urging people to email or call sooner than later.
Proceeds will go to a scholarship fund for legacy students (those who had parents or grandparents who attended MSU).
Many people are calling and asking for the mailbox door they had when they lived in the dorm. One person called and requested the numbers of their kids’ birthdays.
The mailboxes are the only keepsakes the university is selling. Most other items in the building are being sold in bulk to companies, including everything from doors to fire extinguishers.
However, keys and bricks likely will become available this summer, Myers said.
The demolition day for Gage has not been set, nor has the manner in which it will come down, Myers said. But they’re hoping for an implosion, and the university is planning a weekend of activities around the spectacle. She said the demolition will happen sometime this summer with a specific date to be announced soon.
“We are hoping for thousands of people,” Myers said.
The last people to live in Gage were the Minnesota Vikings in the summer of 2012 during Training Camp. About 50,000 students lived in the 12-story iconic towers since they opened in the 1960s.
To purchase a mailbox, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 389-1515.