Monday, April 23, 2012
The tornado that tore through Wichita on April 14 did such serious damage to one of Southwestern College's Professional Studies buildings that the campus is still closed.
The most noticeable exterior damage is shattered street signs, but Associate Vice President Deb Stockman says the damage has made the building unsafe for students. The tornado damaged the school's roof and allowed water to seep inside the building. All the east campus students now have to head west for class.
“The students and our learners were our first priority so it was really nice to have this west side location. We were here all last week. We'll probably be here all this week, don't know for sure,” Stockman said.
Stockman says one fact that has worked in their favor is that 85 percent of the student population at the east location are online-only students.
“Although we've kept them informed, they weren't affected,” Stockman said.
Only about 50 students have had to make the move to the west location. Although some nights the classes get a little crowded, the faculty says the important thing is that they've been able to continue classes, despite the extensive damage back at home.
Stockman says their insurance companies have already examined the damage. Now, they are just waiting for a heating and air contractor and a roofing company to come out and start repairing their school. They don't yet know when students and staff will be able to return.