SC’s Wichita Center Damaged by Storm
Southwestern College officials continue to assess damage done to its Wichita East Professional Studies Center during April 14’s tornado. The center, located at the corner of Pawnee and Rock Road, was in the direct path of the storm, and a convenience store next door was heavily damaged.
“We expect to have power restored by Thursday,” says President Dick Merriman, “and once that’s done we’ll be able to get into the buildings and get a more accurate picture.”
Merriman says damage on the outside of the two buildings is obvious—a billboard fell onto the roof of the north annex, and air conditioning units were torn from their moorings on the main building. This allowed water damage in both sites. A car owned by Southwestern also was damaged, along with the center’s street-side signage.
However, windows were intact so much of the center’s interior had at least some protection from the elements.
No preliminary estimate of damage is available. Restoration costs are expected to be shared by insurers of the college (which has extensively remodeled the interiors of the buildings) and the building’s owners.
Staff who normally work at the Wichita East center have relocated to the college’s Wichita West center on north Ridge Road. Classes are also meeting there, though most Professional Studies learners study online and their instruction has not been impacted by the storm damage.
Until power is restored at our Wichita East Branch Campus, Academic Success Coaches will only be available via email. To find your coach’s email, please click here.
Southwestern College is a private institution granting undergraduate and graduate degrees and is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. About 1,900 students attend classes at the main Winfield campus, at five professional studies sites in Kansas and Oklahoma, or online around the world.