WISE — Today’s menu at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise student dining hall will likely include a return to customary surroundings.
High winds on Sunday ripped the metal roof off of Cantrell Hall. On Monday, meals were served in the building’s dining room, the Grille in the student center, and the Chapel of All Faiths.
The Cantrell roof atop the side of the building was peeled back like a tin can. Metal roof sheeting landed in a vacant construction site of the Center for the Arts. Luckily no one was in the vicinity, and there were no injuries. On Monday, workers placed temporary roofing materials over the damaged areas, and a carpeting contractor cleaned up and dried out interior carpets.
“Just estimating, what we’re talking here is around $40,000 to $50,000 in damage — just going by what we see and figure among ourselves,” said UVa-Wise Director of College Services Joe Kiser. “The good news is, no one was injured and there was no significant water damage inside. We’ve already got the carpets dried, and we’re putting chemicals on them to prevent any kind of mold.”
Cantrell Hall contains the campus dining facility on the first floor and offices for Student Health Services, Student Affairs and Campus Police on the second floor. Kiser said the college is hoping the insurance company and a contractor can move fairly quickly to re-install a permanent metal roof.
“Hopefully within the week we will have a contractor selected. It will depend on getting the product here and getting it installed, but hopefully it will be a quick turnaround,” he said. “We hope to have the students back in there and using the facility as early as tomorrow.”
Kiser said campus personnel estimated a 50 to 60 mph wind shear did the damage at Cantrell, quite possibly during one thoroughly windblown Sunday.
The National Weather Service recorded highest sustained wind speeds of 24 mph at Tri-Cities Regional Airport, with the highest gust speed at 36 mph. At Wise/Lonesome Pine Airport near the college, the NWS recorded gusts approaching 40 mph and sustained winds ranging from the high 20s mph to mid- to high 30s mph pretty much all day long. A burst of wind energy focused onto a limited area could have exceeded those recorded speeds quite easily given Sunday’s blustery conditions.
Kiser said a couple of other college buildings also had their roofs trifled with by the winds, but college maintenance workers found and fixed those trouble spots on Monday as well.