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Belknap Campus reopens

August 6th, 2009

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Education Dean Blake Haselton, left, and UofL President James Ramsey, right, walk to the basement of the education building to survey the damage.

Faculty, staff and students on the University of Louisville’s Belknap Campus began to return Aug. 6 to try to resume business as usual following Tuesday’s flood.

Shortly before 8 a.m., College of Business faculty member Dennis Fleming waited for his students outside a classroom in Davidson Hall. The biggest challenge he said he faced in relocating from the water-damaged basement of the College of Business was working with a different version of Microsoft Word.

“It’s a teachable moment,” he said, laughing.

The university closed Tuesday as waters rose on campus. Belknap Campus and the School of Public Health and Information Sciences remained closed Wednesday.

Classes resumed Thursday, with 39 being relocated from flooded buildings to Davidson Hall. Fourteen campus buildings remained closed, but the rest of the university was on a regular schedule.

Gheens Science Hall and Rauch Planetarium staff started their day moving summer camp equipment from that building to nearby Strickler Hall. College of Education and Human Development staff were to move into the planetarium.

Similar moves took place across campus.

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President James Ramsey talks with Thomas Bellingham.

Student Thomas Bellingham came to campus to find out if he qualified for financial aid beyond his work as a videographer with the football team. He found the office in Houchens Building closed, but met President James Ramsey on his way out. Ramsey was walking campus checking on building status and thanking Physical Plant and other staff busy cleaning the buildings.

Ramsey talked briefly with Bellingham, 33, and offered to help him find the answers to his questions.

“There is no better feeling than to know that ‘A,’ the president is out assessing the situation and, in the meantime, is reaching out to a student like me and offering to help,” he said.

The College of Education and Human Development, which Bellingham will enter Aug. 24, was one of the most damaged buildings. Flooding in the basement caused diesel fuel from machinery there to seep into the water. Fumes permeated part of the building.

Interim Dean Blake Haselton was upbeat, despite the situation.

“We’re going to be fine,” he told Ramsey. “Can do. We’ll do this.”

“Hang in there and keep moving forward,” Ramsey said.

Related Link
Flood Information for Campus Community

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