Hurricane Katrina Forest Recovery

As we work together to tackle the historic challenge that Hurricane Katrina has presented to the forestry communities of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama, we hope that this blog will be a valuable resource and tool.

Friday, August 25

USM Continues to Rebuild

The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) continues to make progress to restore both the Hattiesburg and Long Beach campuses that were heavily damaged last year by Hurricane Katrina.

Katrina caused more than $200 million in damages to the university, devastating the Southern Miss Gulf Park campus in Long Beach and other university research and teaching sites. In addition to structural damage, the university also incurred losses of research and equipment.

To date, the Business Complex, Holloway Complex, Physical Plant Building and the Shipping and Receiving building have been repaired. The AEC and library have been gutted and are ready to be restored. Electrical service has been restored to the north end of campus including the AEC and library. Temporary water and sewerage services are available for the library, AEC, Business Complex, Holloway Complex and the Physical Plant.

USM's Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (GCRL) in Ocean Springs sustained approximately $13 million in damages to buildings, contents and collections (not including research and intellectual property). Restoration of the fisheries, research and Caylor buildings, all flooded by the 20-plus-foot storm surge, is in the final stages. To date, all remaining buildings except the Toxicology Building, Parasitology Wet Lab and the Maturation Building have been restored. Temporary modular units have replaced lost classrooms and teaching labs of the Hopkins Building. The GCRL Physical Plant has re-established its shop in a storage building with offices in the dormitory. Projects are underway to replace destroyed greenhouse buildings that were used for marine aquaculture and marine botany research. Marine finfish aquaculture projects wiped out at the main GCRL campus have restarted in buildings at Cedar Point with additional facilities under construction.

The J.L. Scott Marine Education Center and Aquarium at Point Cadet was destroyed and has been demolished. It has relocated to the GCRL grounds and modular units house four classrooms.

Total damage on the Hattiesburg campus came to approximately $20 million. Facility damage primarily involved roof and fencing. Forty buildings have had roofs either repaired or completely replaced and the roofs of six landmark structures are to be replaced, including the Aubrey K. Lucas Administration Building, the Powell Ogletree Alumni House, the Peck House, Hattiesburg Hall, the Fritzche-Gibbs Building and the Human Performance and Recreation Building.


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