February 11, 2009 Edition

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WBC reopens after
nearly two weeks



Workers remove fallen limbs from in front of the Mabee Student Center on the Williams Baptist College campus.

Williams Baptist College missed nearly two weeks of classes due to the recent ice storm and resulting power outage. Most of the campus received electricity Feb. 3, with the south side of the college restored last Wednesday morning.

"This was a storm of historic proportions, and it is hard to overstate the damage and disruption it has caused," said Williams President Dr. Jerol Swaim. "We are very thankful to the utility crews and to WBC's own employees for their diligence in getting us through this difficult time."

In addition to having to ready buildings that were without power for a week, there was also significant tree damage on the campus, according to Swaim.

"The campus is back in good operating order," Swaim said on Friday. "The ice storm left a huge amount of limbs on the ground and dangling from our trees, but our people have now cleared the major traffic areas and are making good progress on the peripheral areas, as well."

Internet and e-mail access to the campus was also restored to WBC on Wednesday, as well as cable TV and Internet access in residence halls.

Administrative offices reopened on Thursday, residence halls reopened on Sunday and classes resumed on Monday.

Dr. Kenneth Startup, WBC's academic dean and vice president for academic affairs, said the college will shorten its planned spring break from a week to a single day in order to compensate for lost school time.

"It is difficult for a college to adjust its spring break schedule, because it affects a number of planned trips and activities," Startup noted. "We are sensitive to those matters, but we feel we have no choice given the number of classroom days that have been lost to this ice storm."

WBC students will now be given the day off on Friday, March 27, rather than the entire week, as originally planned.

The college is still trying to reschedule a host of events that had to be postponed in the wake of the ice storm. The Miss WBC Pageant, which had been set for Feb. 6, is now scheduled for Feb. 13.

Sporting events were affected, as well. The Williams basketball teams were to host Hannibal-LaGrange on Tuesday. Those games had been set for Feb. 7.

Athletic Director Jeff Rider said other games lost to the ice storm and power outage are in the process of being rescheduled, as well.

The Eagles baseball team was to have started its season with a series of games last week, but those contests were cancelled.

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