Work is underway at McNeese State University to rebuild and repair damages caused by recent hurricanes.
“Our goal is to have the majority of the campus, including resident halls, ready for occupancy for the beginning of the spring semester,” Candace Townsend, spokeswoman for the university, said.
In order to accomplish this goal, multiple contractors will be working across the campus with a project coordinator overseeing the work schedule. The permanent repairs are scheduled to begin on Nov. 1.
Some buildings sustained little damage allowing essential staff to already return to campus, Townsend said. These areas include accounting, accounts payable, human resources, payroll, IT, facilities and plant operations and enrollment management.
“McNeese police are staying on campus during this emergency closure and patrolling the campus and checking buildings,” Townsend said.
McNeese students will resume online instruction on Monday after a temporary closure from Hurricane Delta. In order to accommodate students moving from in-person to online instruction, the university has implemented many amenities to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Drive up WiFi is available 6 a.m.-9 p.m. in the student parking garage. Mobile internet hotspots were also distributed to students without home internet access.
Emily Poole, a junior nursing student, said the availability of the hotspot has allowed her to resume some normalcy to her daily schedule. Poole had move in temporarily with extended family for internet access as her home in Grand Lake has been without internet services for nearly two months.
“Now I’m able to be back home, see my parents and still take care of all of my courses and assignments,” she said. “It’s starting to feel like things are getting back to the way they’re supposed to be somewhat.”
Cowboy Relief Effort, a University of Louisiana System initiative, has also been launched to assist McNeese students. The effort allows McNeese to students to access the resources of the eight sister campuses across the state including computer labs, libraries, recreation centers and health services.
As of the end of September, more than 200 McNeese students made use of the initiative.
Ashlee Sebren, a Jackson parish native and McNeese student, said she has used the service to access the libraries at University of Louisiana at Monroe and Louisiana Tech.
“The universities have been so welcoming and accepting and I actually feel like a college student again thanks to them,” she said.
Adjustments are being made to McNeese’s academic calendar for the remainder of the fall and spring semester. A revised academic calendar will soon be distributed and posted online.
For more information on McNeese’s recovery plans visit, www.mcneese.edu/emergency/.