JSU Rebounding Six Months After Tornado
Today marks six month since disaster struck the campus of Jacksonville State and although the campus is forever changed its students and faculty are coming back stronger than ever before. Despite a housing shortage and other setbacks, JSU’s fall enrollment is more than 98% compared to last year. Students are taking more classes this semester which also allows the school’s revenue to remain steady at 99%. Storm damage cost rose from $42 million to more than $70 million for the university with 50 out of its 70 buildings suffering some type of damage.
All residence halls are receiving new roofing and shingles with completion to come within the next two weeks. Repairs to Pete Mathews Coliseum will be complete in December and repairs to the Houston Cole Library will be complete towards the end of January. The building that previously housed the School of Business and Industry is slated for demolition. Business and Industry classes have been temporarily relocated to the former Kitty Stone Elementary and will remain there until the new building is completed in fall of 2021. President John Beehler says the recovery has moved much quicker than he dreamed it would. President Beehler also adds that the new additions of the baseball stadium and the Fitness and Wellness Center are both well on track for completion. The baseball stadiums’ grand opening is set for September 28th at 2pm and the Fitness Center is ahead of schedule to open in January. Beehler says JSU’s administration is optimistic about the future.