Damage from a Monday afternoon storm won’t affect the first day of school at Brenau University, but students can expect to see some other changes as they begin the school year today.
A storm that tore through the area Monday also knocked down some trees and branches on the campus.
Campus security officers Van Johnson and Matt Mefferd were the first to arrive that evening to help clean up. Johnson, who has worked three years at the university, said he didn’t remember “ever seeing anything like it.”
“In about 10 to 15 minutes the storm hit and broke branches, uprooted trees and spread debris all over campus,” he said.
Other areas of town escaped unscathed.
Brenau spokesman David Morrison said Tuesday that the damage was minimal and has already been cleared from sidewalks and roadways.
The storm, Morrison said, damaged eight trees by weakening their roots and felled some branches and the tops of some trees on the front of campus.
Four of the trees have already been removed, Morrison said, and four more are expected to be removed today. Morrison said he does not expect the removal to cause any traffic delays on campus.
“All of that was cleared up, anything that was blocking the sidewalk or the road,” he said.
Morrison said students will more likely notice recent changes to residence areas.
“We razed a couple of residence halls and those students that would normally go into those halls will be placed elsewhere,” Morrison said.
The students will be placed into surplus housing that had previously been used only occasionally and into apartments around the outer edge of campus.
The two residence halls, one of which was no longer in use, were demolished along with four sorority houses earlier this summer as part of a construction project that includes a new three-story residence hall, four new sorority houses, an athletic complex and a new anatomy lab.
Due to the construction work, a portion of Prior Street on the campus will be temporarily closed between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m., he said.
The area between Washington Street and Smithgall Lane in front of Crudup Hall on the campus will be used as a safe drop-off zone. The Brenau Fitness Center and the Child Development Center, however, will be open.
Morrison said the school will welcome 200 new freshmen today, which is slightly more than in previous years, and that overall enrollment is expected to be up somewhat this year. He said complete enrollment numbers will be available later in the semester.
“We’re really looking forward to it,” he said. “We’ve got a good year planned and we’ve got a great first year seminar.”
Times staff Chris Campbell
contributed to this report