Progress on BRTC campus post flooding

POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) – Flooding in April and May left a long line of damage across Region 8.  Several buildings on the campus of Black River Technical College had water inside.  Since the water went down crews have been working to rip out damaged parts of the buildings and making repairs.

Right now crews are working on laying down flooring, replacing baseboards and getting ready to start school on time.

"When water hits it is pretty much gone and that was the case here," said BRTC President Wayne Hatcher.

The health and science building had about a foot of water sitting inside leaving a lot of damage behind.

"At various times we've had anywhere from a dozen to four dozen contractors and sub-contractors on campus," said Hatcher.

Hatcher said despite the damage the work is almost finished.

"We need to get the word out that we are having fall classes.  Everything is scheduled like it should be and we're expecting enrollment to be the same or even better than last fall," said Hatcher.

He said by the start of school they will be 99% ready.

"This lab room that you're in right now is probably one of the worst facilities that we still have left and this room itself will be ready to go probably in about a week," said Hatcher.

Lab tables won't be installed until October but he said they'll use that time for lecture instead of hands on work.

The library had a couple of inches of water inside.  They had to replace the carpet and take out all of the books to be dried out.

With the fall semester only weeks away, Hatcher said it's vital they get the word out.

"There has been the perception that we weren't ready for summer classes and in a way that did affect some of our summer enrollment.  Some of that same perception is probably carrying on to fall," said Hatcher.

Classes start on August 22nd.  Hatcher said they hope to have a majority of the work finished by August 8th.

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