WCU reopens med school building damaged in January tornado

WCU reopens med school building damaged in January tornado

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - William Carey University has officially reopened one of its medical school buildings that was damaged in the January tornado.

A ribbon-cutting for the rebuilt Simulation Center was held Thursday afternoon.

Parts of the building, including the south wall, were heavily damaged when that twister hit on Jan. 21.

"I remember first getting the email from Dr. Turner saying we're going to be back by the time school started and I thought it was crazy," said Brewer Carter, a second year medical student from Georgia. "I was going there's no way, it's going to be too hard and here we are back already, first week back on campus."

The College of Osteopathic Medicine at William Carey University has four buildings.  All of them were damaged in the storm, including the Simulation Center and the Anatomy Lab.

That lab had to be rebuilt from the ground up.

University administrators said nearly all repair work as been done, just in time for a new semester.

"We've actually started our classes this week, so our students are in class now and everything's up and operational," said James Turner, dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine.

After the storm, the medical school was moved temporarily to the University of Southern Mississippi.

"I really didn't know how we were going to make it work," said Teresa Rogers, director of clinical simulation at William Carey University.

"We've been really grateful for USM opening their doors and allowing us to continue providing what we did here, but we're really glad to be back home."

49 of the university's 50 buildings were damaged in the tornado.