It is back to business for Kansas University today, but some campus areas will be closed as crews continue a cleanup expected to take months and cost more than $6 million.
"Campus is safe," Chancellor Robert Hemenway said. "There's no question about being safe."
KU officials said 60 percent of KU's roughly 100 buildings were damaged in some way by the storm that slammed Lawrence on Sunday.
The one building that will be entirely closed until further notice is Danforth Chapel, which suffered extensive roof damage. Entrances to Snow and Fraser halls will be partially restricted today, and athletic courts on the west side of Robinson Center will be closed today.
The physical damage accounts for the bulk of the estimated cleanup costs about $4 million said Paul Carttar, executive vice chancellor for external affairs.
But, Carttar said, the university also must cover costs for overtime paid to public safety officers and others who worked in the storm's aftermath, along with food or research materials spoiled while the power was out.
KU will look to state and federal resources and private donors to help pay for the cleanup, Hemenway said.
Tour of the damage
Gov. Kathleen Sebelius joined Hemenway and others Monday in a helicopter flyover of the Lawrence area and KU campus to view the damage.
"Our biggest need is going to be roof repair," Hemenway said.
KU Endowment has also set up a Campus Storm Recovery fund.
Hemenway said cleanup estimates were just that - estimates.
"That's a kind of ballpark figure right now," he said. "It could be higher. It could be less than that. The problem is you never know what you're going to get into."
High winds broke windows, tore off rooftops and sent foam-like insulation and broken glass raining on some parts of campus. It uprooted trees, tore others in half or splintered tree limbs.
But KU officials called in all facilities and operations workers quickly after the storm hit Sunday, and by Monday much of the debris that had littered lawns and walkways was cleared.
"All in all, the cleanup is moving along," Vice Provost Jim Long said.
He said some repairs would be completed today, but other projects - such as repairing the roof of Danforth Chapel - would take longer. For more intensive repairs, crews will make temporary fixes before making permanent ones, he said.
"We want to remain as dry as possible with the weather," Long said.
Long-term projects could take months, he said.
Hemenway commended KU employees' response and cleanup efforts.
"I think it's extraordinary what we've been able to accomplish in the 48 hours or so since the event," he said.
Access to Snow Hall will be restricted to an entrance off Poplar Lane. Fraser Hall's east entrance will be closed, officials said, because gutters are filled with debris.
Yellow tape kept pedestrians away from several buildings Monday, including Snow and Marvin halls, where workers were repairing the roofs.
Marvin Wiedeman, a KU employee who was among those helping clean up, said crews would do what it took to put the campus back in order.
"If we have to work late, we'll work late," Wiedeman said.
Jayhawk Boulevard, usually the setting for a sea of students headed in all directions, was relatively quiet and empty.
"I've had one customer here today," Lea Salvo, a KU junior who was working the counter of Pulse, the coffee counter inside Wescoe Hall, said early Monday.
Aside from work crews, only the occasional jogger or curious student checking out the damage could be seen along Jayhawk Boulevard.
"I didn't know it was as bad as it was," said Katie Savute, a sophomore who explored some parts of campus.
The storm canceled class in the final week before Spring Break. That means some midterm tests were delayed or postponed.
"A lot of people's midterms got canceled, so that's good," sophomore Alicia Floberg said.
Students Joe Grassmuck and Nick Strain spent the day off hitting the books.
"Even though class is canceled, we still have stuff to do," said Grassmuck, an engineering student. "Engineering never stops. There's always stuff to keep you busy."
March 12, 2006, Storm
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- 6News video: Hundreds of city employees continue to collect storm debris (03-16-06)
- 6News video: South Park receives needed attention (03-16-06)
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- Checkers security camera footage of the March 12 storms (03-16-06)
- 6News video: Several buildings in Lawrence declared unsafe to live or work
- 6News video: Historic headstones damaged by storm in Oak Hill Cemetery
- 6News video: Ten-year-old captures live footage of microburst
- Forecast for rain prompts fast repairs (03-16-06)
- Safety concerns lead to re-evacuation (03-16-06)
- 6News video: Tornado sirens ring loud and clear during testing (03-14-06)
- 6News video: State government plans for KU repair cost (03-14-06)
- 6News video: Several Lawrence parks and cemeteries hit hard by storm (03-14-06)
- What does it take to sound sirens? (03-15-06)
- Tuesday's warning was only a test
- Sebelius and Hemenway press conference, part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
- March 12 Storm: Aftermath
- Storm damage
- Reader photos: Storm damage
- Interactive storm damage map