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Parts of JALC campus affected by Aug. 12 fire set to reopen

  • Main entrance of John A Logan College still under construction after an electrical fire last fall.

    Main entrance of John A Logan College still under construction after an electrical fire last fall.
    Kristin Moore photo

  • While a portion of the campus affected by smoke damage is set to be open for spring semester, remodeling is still ongoing for the main entrance of the building.

    While a portion of the campus affected by smoke damage is set to be open for spring semester, remodeling is still ongoing for the main entrance of the building.
    Kristin Moore photo

 
Submitted by Steve O'Keefe,
John A. Logan College
updated: 1/11/2021 8:50 PM

CARTERVILLE -- As the fall semester began on Aug. 12, 2020, students were back on campus for the first time in five months. Classes were underway, a mix of face-to-face, hybrid, and online, and students finalized schedules.

Then shortly before noon, an electrical arc fire in a mechanical room resulted in smoke damage to over 100,000 square feet of the campus.

As a result, classes moved to fully remote for the first week while offices and classrooms were relocated.

"Our faculty and staff did a remarkable job of keeping everything going while we relocated staff to temporary offices and got the campus ready to welcome students," said Vice President for Instruction Dr. Melanie Pecord.

Within 24 hours of the incident, a restoration team was on campus to begin the cleanup process. While the fire damage was contained to the mechanical room, a large portion of the campus was affected with smoke-related damage.

"Our Student Services portion of the campus that houses admissions, advisement, financial aid, the bursar, and other student support services all had to be relocated," said Pecord. "In addition to those offices, we were unable to use our bookstore and food service."

One portion of the campus affected houses art and music classrooms, the O'Neil Auditorium, College Foundation, and Grant offices. Those are set to reopen when the spring semester begins this week. New carpet, paint, and ceiling tiles are in place and ready for use by students and staff.

"We are excited that we can open this area of campus for the spring semester for our students in the arts and humanities to be able to get hands-on face-to-face instruction," said Pecord.

The focus now turns to the completion of the Student Services Wing. According to Interim Vice President for Business Services Stacy Buckingham, remodeling will begin later this month.

"With the restoration complete, we plan to begin remodeling later this month, and we expect to be able to occupy those areas late spring."

Although the relocation caused a disruption, the Student Services staff continues to serve students.

"We continue to serve students, and that has never been disrupted," said Pecord. "Throughout the pandemic and the relocations, our advisers and other support staff have continued to communicate with and help students both remotely and in person. If a student needs assistance, we are there to help them."

Spring semester classes began Monday with a mix of face-to-face, hybrid, and online courses.

Late registration is underway and will continue through Jan. 14. Students are encouraged to contact their adviser by email or call (618) 985-2828, ext. 8070 for assistance.

Limited in-person advisement will be available. Walk-in students should go to room E202. Face coverings will be required, and temperature screenings are available at the entrance. Please email advisement@jalc.edu with any registration questions.

 
 
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