What seemed like a storm from hell hitting Grambling State University last week is going to cost at least $2.7 million to clean up after flooding and roof collapses, according to GSU President Willie Larkin.
After several days walking the campus to see the damage and talking with the faculty, staff and students affected and displaced, Larkin said that Grambling State has been hit harder than anyone had imagined and the school urgently needs help from Lincoln Parish, Louisiana and the federal government.
He issued a state of emergency to emphasize the critical need, but no state or federal help has come to help. However, GSU has a March 23 meeting scheduled with the Federal Emergency Management Assistance to determine what resources the federal government might provide.
“Risk management insurance, not students, will pay for the damage, some of which will not be repaired for use for months,” Larkin said.
Charles P. Adams Hall was the hardest hit of the several buildings flooded or otherwise damaged by the storm. Adams had about three inches of water, making it impossible to operate normally on the first floor. The second and third floors were not damaged.
“Most of the campus buildings were damaged because of ongoing roof and drainage system problems long overdue for repair and renovation,” said Tremell Turner, director of Facilities.
“The school has sought money and help to deal with the existing problems for years without much success.”
Tiles on the roof of the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center, which houses much of athletics and kinesiology classes, were damaged during the thunderstorms, causing a number of leaks and some internal water damage.
In addition to Adams and Hobdy, other buildings affected include the Favrot Student Union building, T.H. Harris Auditorium and the Eddie Robinson Museum
The several days of rain and flooding caused 31 faculty members to be relocated from Adams, to the second and third floors of Adams and to Jacob T. Stewart. It is uncertain how long they might have to stay in the temporary offices.
Woodson was hit by a bad storm last year and repairs were ongoing when the storms hit last week. It will not be available for use until at least the middle of the summer, Turner said.