JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – Students are back in class at Holmes Community College in Goodman. This comes nearly five months after a tornado damaged just about every roof on campus.
The school president says they’ve been working hard this summer, scrambling to get the campus ready for students this week.
By the way, this damage cost about 20 million dollars.
“It’s a slow grind, you know, when you’re waiting for, you know, insurance on probably 60 buildings to make decisions,” said Jim Haffey, president of Holmes Community College. “Just go ahead and hope for the best.”
When I was inside the cafeteria at Holmes Community College in March, I was standing in about an inch of water and dodging tiles falling from the ceiling.
Almost five months later, it’s as if nothing had happened.
“What we really realized early on is that we have to take care of this ourselves. We have to rebuild. We can’t sit back and wait for FEMA or some insurance company or some grant to come and bail us out. “said Haffey.
Perhaps the group of students most affected by the spring storm were the football players, as the tornado caused extensive damage to nearly every football-related building, including three dormitories where the athletes were staying.
“Our offices, of course, are in our dorms, so our dorm and offices, we’ve moved,” head football coach Marcus Wood said. “In fact, we were at the library all summer. That’s really where we set up as an office, and then we moved. We have a smaller weight room in the gym, and we use that, and then the actual equipment room. We lost all our equipment.
As crews continue to make repairs, the school president says they are also preparing the buildings for the next round of extreme weather.
“Every repair we’ve done, I think, makes our buildings safer than they were,” Haffey said. “We have certainly looked at safe spaces for our students and identified some of those areas and want to continue to make sure that you know when we have a residence group here on campus that they have a safe place to go.
Haffey estimates that there are still at least seven to eight million dollars worth of repairs to be done.
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