Iowa Wesleyan University announced its closure one year ago and since then campus buildings in Mt. Pleasant have been sold and the university archives have been divided.

There are efforts to try and preserve some of the legacy of the school which operated for 181 years. Alan Allsup from the class of 1987 and his friends have squirreled away a collection of items that range from part of the old gym floor to framed paintings. “Everything happened so quickly. And a lot of people didn’t know what was even being taken out or not. A lot of us are we want Iowa Wesleyan to prefer reserved somewhere,” he says.

The Henry County Heritage Trust and board member Pat White run a museum that has a room dedicated to the school. “That was my first thought, what is going to happen to the archives that were housed on the university campus?,” She says. “I think it was important that these things that happened here in little Mount Pleasant, that it stay local.” Spencer Barton worked as an archivist at Iowa Wesleyan in what became its final year and then hung around as an independent museum consultant on the collection. “That’s over 8,000 items, objects to go through, and then that doesn’t include anything in the file cabinets,” he says.

Barton says the museum will give people a chance to remember the institution that is now gone. “People who make their pilgrimage to the campus every year, every ten years, however long it takes for them, can come back and relive a little bit about experience,” Barton says. “Even if it’s completely different than a new place still close to home.” After a long bidding process the campus has been divided and sold to groups including the Mount Pleasant Community School District. The district bought a large gymnasium track and field space, auditorium and office space, for one-point-three million dollars.

One buyer from the Quad Cities is planning to make apartments out of some of the old dorms another would make office space out of the wrestling facility.

(By Zachary Smith, Iowa Public Radio)

Radio Iowa