March 01, 2012 12:00AM
Students returned to classes and offices reopened on the PSU campus Thursday morning, except for a few buildings where power is not expected to be restored until at least Friday.
The campus was closed Wednesday following a strong storm Tuesday night that caused some damage to a few university buildings and left the campus without power. National Weather Service officials have estimated that winds were 110-120 mph in areas around the university.
Power was restored to the campus late Wednesday morning to all areas except the student recreation center, the Kansas Technology Center and the Weede PE Building, where the wind removed part of the roof over John Lance Area.
"The damage to electrical lines on Rouse Street was fairly extensive, and power likely won't be restored to the Kansas Technology Center or Student Recreation Center until Friday at the earliest," said President Steve Scott. "In addition, we have suffered damage to the roof of the Weede Physical Education building. As a result classes and activities scheduled for the Kansas Technology Center, the Student Recreation Center and John Lance Arena will not be held on Thursday."
In spite of the damage and the inconvenience, things could have been much worse, the president said.
“We were fortunate. We have all seen how much damage these storms can do.”
Although it is rare to have such strong thunderstorms in February, PSU officials said they were prepared for the spring storm season. Within 15 minutes of the storm’s passing, the university’s crisis response team had assembled at the University Police Station, which was running on emergency power.
“The initial concern is always the safety of the 1,200 students living on campus and our staff,” Scott said. “Although we lost power, there was no damage to any of the residence halls and the students were safe.”
Throughout the process, the university has coordinated with the city and with Westar Energy, the president said.