Charlotte, N.C. - The iconic symbol at a Charlotte campus is coming down. The Belk Tower used to be the center of UNC Charlotte. This Monday, demolition workers started taking it apart.
"When I first walked into the campus that was the first thing I saw," said Serkan Elden.
Elden first set foot on the UNC Charlotte campus in 1991. He was an international student from Turkey. Now, he's visiting the campus with his family 20 years later.
"Belk Tower at the time used to be the symbol of the campus,” said Elden.
That symbol - dating back to the 1970s - as once the center of UNC Charlotte.
Now, it's being taken apart one piece at a time.
"I have very mixed feelings about Belk Tower being moved out of here. It's heritage in the first place for UNC Charlotte. It also shows the campus is moving ahead and I’m sure they'll put something else here that will be heritage for another 30-40 years," said Elden.
Ethel Katopodis says she's also sad to see the monument go. She passes by it every day during her daily exercise.
"It would be good if they could afford to keep it. I think it's going to be a loss. It's like tearing down historical homes," said Katopodis.
The chancellor told students and alumni back in October that the tower was in disrepair and had to come down for safety reasons.
According to the university, it would take 1 million dollars to repair it. But the college is budgeting twice as much - 2 million - on what will replace it according to a source close to the 'Belk Plaza' project.
To that, Katopodis says,
"I guess he can do whatever he wants to.”
We've asked the university several times how much it will cost to demolish the tower and replace it with something else.
At this point, we have not heard back.
Exactly what will replace the monument is still on the drawing board. There will be three open forums for students and alumni to offer input. The final concept design is expected by May.