U-District

Old UW dorm to be training ground for Seattle SWAT teams

Old UW dorm to be training ground for Seattle SWAT teams

SEATTLE - A 60-year-old residence hall at the University of Washington now sits empty and silent - but not for long.

More than 600 students just moved out of Terry Hall over winter break and moved in to the new Lander Hall right next door. Freshman Jesse Huang says, "It was very sad. A lot of us were attached to the old hall."

But now the Seattle Police department is moving in to the old dorm, at least temporarily, to conduct bomb squad and SWAT team training.

This is a unique opportunity officers jumped at - the chance to train in a high rise.

"There are different challenges, and that's one of the reasons we train to figure out what those challenges are - work out some of those problems ahead of time so when the time comes for a real life situation we are fully prepared," says Seattle Police spokesman Mark Jamieson.

Junior Kaylie Caputo had no idea she’d be living next to such sophisticated training. 

"You usually don't see that type of stuff around a college campus," she says. "And it would be a really good opportunity for the Seattle police to make use of that building."

When the training is complete in late January, the building will be demolished and new dorms constructed in its place.

During their final days in Terry Hall, students made the best of it, creating countdown doodles on the walls and painting some elaborate landscapes.  The school allowed this only because the wrecking ball is coming.

The school said the furniture is being saved, getting re-purposed by Washington State Parks and the Seattle Public Schools.

In place of Terry, the school is building two new halls - one called Terry, another named Maple.

Students and drivers will have to put up with the construction fencing for at least another year and a half. Students should be able to start moving into the new halls in July 2015 and start building new memories.