Daniel Mayes, Editor-in-Chief
Nearly five months to the day after the March 19 tornadoes ripped through the campus of Jacksonville State University, students arrived for the fall semester to find a campus still very much in the recovery process.
Many buildings and parking lots remain closed for the time being, and construction crew and equipment still scattered around campus, but JSU says the University remains “fully operational, providing the same classes and activities students enjoy each fall.”
Fully operational, unfortunately, doesn’t mean free of headaches for students and faculty. Senior Biology Major Ashley Adamson says the construction has already caused disruption in her classes.
“It was really hard getting in to Martin. Getting to the third floor was even harder because there are like a million workers there,” Adamson said. “I couldn’t hear my professor over the sound of saws and hammers from above, the projector screen was shaking like we were in an earthquake, and then our teacher let us out of class early because it was all so annoying.”
Wallace Hall, Pete Mathews Coliseum, the Honors House, and the music side of Mason Hall will be closed to begin the fall semester, however the coliseum is expected to be reopened in time for basketball season.
Repair on the Honors House and Mason Hall are anticipated to be completed sometime in the spring semester.
Merrill Hall will be torn down over the coming weeks.
According to JSU, students will not have to wait long for campus to start—finally—returning to normal.
“While it might still look like a work site on August 21, most repairs will begin wrapping up a month later – making campus feel like home again just in time for Homecoming on September 29,” the University wrote in a message to students.
While the campus is still in disarray though, the University urges students to walk or bike to class if possible to combat the traffic build-up that will likely occur due to construction.