William Carey University in Hattiesburg, Miss., has begun construction on new administration and academic facilities that were lost earlier this year when a tornado struck the campus.
WJTV-TV reports the university has broken ground for two new buildings, Asbury Academic Building and Tatum Court, which houses the school's administration. The original Tatum Court, which celebrated its centennial in 2014 and was the oldest building on campus, was severely damaged in a January tornado and had to be razed.
All but one building at William Carey was damaged when the EF-3 tornado hit the campus. The university estimates it sustained about $73 million in damage from the tornado.
“The sadness of losing Tatum Court, our oldest and most beloved building, is tempered by the excitement and the joy of a new Tatum Court,” says Scott Hummel, vice president and provost of William Carey.
William Carey President Tommy King says getting Tatum Court back up and running is a top priority because of its significance to the campus.
“Tatum Court is the center of everything," King says. "It’s the hub for student services and for the academic and administrative offices."
During construction, administration has been situated in Lawrence Hall.
Both buildings will be completed by summer 2018.
William Carey also has begun construction on two residence halls to replace the Ross and Johnson facilities that were destroyed in the tornado.
The university has already completed construction on a gym and several other buildings on campus, WDAM-TV reports.