Facilities Crews Tackle Campus Cleanup

Heather Hargrave is in Nashville with the Tulane storm operations team, but she has kept the phone lines busy with the next crucial phase of Tulane's return after Hurricane Gustav — getting facilities services crews back to work quickly to prepare the uptown campus for reopening.

Small tree branches litter the sidewalk between Tilton Hall and Gibson Hall after Hurricane Gustav in this photograph taken on Monday evening (Sept. 1).

The director of facilities services, Hargrave spent Tuesday (Sept. 2) calling facilities crews to go back to work tomorrow (Sept. 3).

"We're ready to get back on campus," she added, to clean up debris left behind by Gustav and make what repairs are needed. Overall, she reports that the damage was light on all Tulane campuses.

"It's really quite a blessing. Amazing," Hargrave said.

In addition to cleanup of branches and storm debris, crews will be removing a tree that went down near Sharp Residence Hall and bringing in a glass contractor to take care of four areas with window problems — the dormers of Hebert Hall and the Social Work Building and a patio area of Goldring/Woldenberg I. Another large pane cracked but didn't break in Goldring/Woldenberg II.

A metal roof in the facilities yards blew off as well, but in sum "it's not bad at all," she added.

Sylvester Johnson, associate vice president of facilities services, was on campus on Tuesday with a group of facilities managers to assess the uptown campus situation.

On the downtown campus, Hargrave also reported there was some damage to the penthouse area of the Tidewater Building at 1440 Canal St., home of the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, but no other problems. "The news is good all over," she said.

A breeze flutters the flag in front of Gibson Hall on Monday evening after Gustav passed by the New Orleans area. The uptown campus had only minor damage after the storm.

Meantime, in Jackson, Miss., the number of Tulane students lodging at Jackson State has dwindled daily as students took flights out of Jackson to their homes or were picked up by their parents, university officials in Jackson said.

About 200 students remain at Jackson, where they evacuated on Saturday (Aug. 30) prior to Gustav's arrival.

"They're taking it in stride," said one Tulane official. The group has been making trips to shopping malls and movie theaters and watching the latest news about New Orleans on the Internet.

As the Crescent City cleans up after Hurricane Gustav, the return schedule for all the city's residents is in flux. Tulane is scheduled to resume normal operations on Saturday (Sept. 6), while residence halls and student services will resume at 10 a.m. on Sunday (Sept. 7).