Go back

Tornado Anniversary: APSU Classes to Resume Soon

Originally published by The Tennessean (1/25/99)

Classes at Austin Peay State University will resume on Thursday, but several tornado-damaged classrooms and dormitories will remain closed while major repairs are made.

APSU President Sal Rinella made the announcement yesterday afternoon at a meeting with faculty in Dunn Center, the universitys gymnasium. The session was the first time since the storm that most faculty had returned to campus.

Rinella greeted them heartily.
Originally published by The Tennessean (1/25/99)

Classes at Austin Peay State University will resume on Thursday, but several tornado-damaged classrooms and dormitories will remain closed while major repairs are made.

APSU President Sal Rinella made the announcement yesterday afternoon at a meeting with faculty in Dunn Center, the university's gymnasium. The session was the first time since the storm that most faculty had returned to campus.

Rinella greeted them heartily.

“I can't tell you how happy I am to see you here,” he said, standing behind a sign proclaiming the logo for Operation Restoration.

T-shirts bearing the red logo with a drawing of a tornado were given to faculty. According to Rinella, students will be allowed to return tomorrow to residence halls, with the exception of Harvill Hall, where a large portion of the roof was lifted by the storm.

Arrangements to house the Harvill Hall students, perhaps in local motels, will be made early this week, Rinella said.

On Wednesday, the faculty and staff will return to work. Revised class schedules and locations will be announced at that time, the university president said.

An Operation Restoration hotline will be staffed at the Emerald Hill Alumni Center from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day. The number is (931) 648-7979.

Rinella took time yesterday to honor three groups of university employees for their actions during the storm and its aftermath. The university chief first recognized the security department's dispatch officers for their quick actions in notifying resident assistants of the impending story. Then he credited the RAs for getting the students quickly to basements.

“Without both of these groups, there is no doubt there would have been lives lost,” Rinella said.

He also honored the university's maintenance staff for its round-the-clock effort to clear the campus of debris.

“You are often the unsung heroes and we know that,” he said. All three groups were rewarded with a standing ovation from the faculty.