By Adrianna Cole
Hurricane Irma broke records as the strongest storm ever in the Atlantic. Homes were deleveled, streets flooded and trees were taken out of ground.
Florida Southern’s campus was not spared by the storm. According to VP of Finance Terry Dennis, the campus lost about 55 large trees, and debris was scattered all over.
One tree, in particular, fell onto the Simmons Multicultural Center, damaging part of the roof. The school has repaired it to avoid any additional water damage, and a contractor will be looking at what needs to be replaced.
Dennis said after the storm passed, residence life staff went into every room on campus to determine if there was any damage that needed to be fixed.
Half a dozen windows were shattered by flying debris and have been boarded up as replacements are on the way.
The old Humanities building had the most flooding, with water going down the hall. The tile and carpet had to be replaced.
In Polk Science, water came from the side of the wall, and there had to be some clean up, as the floor had a bit of flooding, too.
The Annie Pfeiffer Chapel was expected to have flooding, so the chairs were prewrapped to avoid any damage to them. Faculty and staff were able to get most of the water.
Dennis said no major academic buildings or residence halls were damaged from the storm.
“We were really lucky,” Dennis said. “We had ve trees that landed right before an academic building or residence hall. We didn’t have buildings detroyed. We were very fortunate.”
Other than the destruction of the buildings, some students were concered of mold growth due to the loss of power, no air circulation and accumulated moistutre. Dennis said there shouldn’t be worry of that, but if any student has a question or sees it, they should contact their community director.
Dennis said there was one building on campus, mold was suspected to be growing, so they’re removing the wall to avoid it.
The Tuesday following the hurricane, about 100 faculty, staff and students spent the morning moving small debris into stacks to clean up the campus.
“We had a tremendous effort by our staff,” Dennis said. “Some had damage to their own homes, and [they still] came to help.”
Dennis said during fall break, some of ces will have carpet removed and replacedd with concrete to avoid any potential water damage in the future.