PLATTEVILLE (WKOW) -- Students are just starting to move into UW Platteville residence halls that were seriously damaged by a tornado earlier this summer.
Saturday marks two months since the storm hit five buildings on campus, including the football stadium, three dorms and Engineering Hall. But thanks to the hard work of volunteers, staff, contractors and friends of the university, school should start almost as usual on September 2.
The early-arrival students started moving into the dorms that were damaged on Friday. Faculty and staff will move into Engineering Hall on Monday, some to permanent spaces, others will have to find a temporary location until all the rooms are ready. All other students will return to campus on August 29.
The stadium is one place not quite up to speed yet, but university officials hope to have it ready for the first home game on September 13.
"The wind actually moved the turf, light poles were bent over," says Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Laura Bayless. "It moved a lot of the concrete barrier and structural foundation of the stadium and the aluminum seats had a big wave in it."
The turf will be removed from the stadium next week and replaced, along with new light poles. The home side seating has been fixed and the away side is still in need of repairs.
Bayless says they still haven't determined a cost estimate on all the damage across campus. That will all be covered by the university's insurance policy, but for those who lost personal property like cars and damaged homes, the Pioneer Relief Fund has raised nearly $76,000 in donations. So far, $6,000 has been given out to students and staff to get back to normal in time for the school year.