Desks are seen in a classroom of Iowa Wesleyan University’s “Old Gym” in August 2023. Less than a year after the college closed, the building is scheduled to be demolished. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

MOUNT PLEASANT, Iowa — Less than a year after Iowa Wesleyan University closed, plans are already moving forward to demolish a historic building on the campus in Mount Pleasant.

The Iowa Wesleyan Board of Trustees sold most of the campus, including the majority of buildings to the Mount Pleasant School District, but a buyer did not come forward for the 1921-built brick gymnasium, said Rachel Lindeen, of the Mount Pleasant Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s all private,” she said of the sales.

Related: See photos from the Iowa Wesleyan auction

Although a request was made to potentially repurpose the building, Lindeen noted that the interior had already been salvaged of its wood flooring and other architectural features and that demolition would move forward.

The cornerstone of the “Old Gym” at Iowa Wesleyan University shows the date of the college’s founding and the year the gymnasium was built. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Earlier this year, the Mount Pleasant City Council authorized the city to submit a grant to the Iowa Department of Economic Development’s “nuisance and abandoned properties” fund to demolish the solid building. The site will become “green space.”

While Iowa Wesleyan had constructed a newer gym years ago, the “Old Gym” as it was called, had been used for student athletes, and as recently as 2020, had turf installed over its wooden floors to serve as an indoor practice facility.

Citing financial difficulties, the college — founded in 1842 — closed in May 2023, leaving an economic hole in the town of just over 9,000 residents in southeastern Iowa.

In a somewhat ironic twist, the gymnasium is being prepared for demolition as Mount Pleasant, a town known for its Old Threshers Reunion prepares to host the annual Preserve Iowa Summit on June 6-8, 2024.

The Preserve Iowa Summit, the state’s premier conference for professionals and volunteers involved in Iowa historic preservation, will highlight Mount Pleasant’s historic preservation successes, according to its website.

Read more about the Iowa Wesleyan auction: Finding Trevor H. and see more photos of the gymnasium: