Storm Causes Damage to Canyon Hall, Vehicles
By Doug Carroll
A savage, 20-minute storm hit GCU late Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 5, blowing out more than 100 windows across campus and causing extensive hail damage to parked vehicles.
Although no injuries were reported, the new dormitory, Canyon Hall, sustained considerable window damage. Nearly all of the four dozen windows facing southeast on the dorm’s eastern wing were blown out and required boarding. Staffers and volunteers from Facilities, Campus Life, ROTC and the baseball team worked into the night to perform patchwork repairs.
Early Wednesday morning, three restoration services already were on campus to clean up the mess, which left walkways and streets covered in brush and open spaces flooded. KTAR Radio and KPNX-TV (Channel 12) visited to report on the storm’s aftermath.
Classes for the day were held as regularly scheduled, although attendance was expected to be down. Many Phoenix-area students left campus Tuesday night to stay at home overnight.
Internet service, hot water and some electrical power were still unavailable to Canyon Hall late Wednesday morning.
“I was in the training room in the gym and I saw three transformers blow and a tree get uprooted,” said freshman lacrosse player Harley Gadomski. “I’m from the Northeast, so I’m used to stuff like this.”
Freshman Mike Daniels said all of the windows in his dorm room were shattered, and freshman Joe Nagel said his vehicle sustained a broken side mirror.
“I got lucky,” Nagel said, noting that many cars parked in back of Canyon Hall took a beating from hailstones the size of golf balls. A tour of the parking lot Wednesday revealed a number of vehicles riddled with dents and some with shattered windshields.
Canyon Hall residents were evacuated to the North Gym after the storm Tuesday evening so that cleanup efforts could begin.
Dean of Students Mik Milem praised those who pitched in after the storm.
“It was amazing,” Milem said as he inspected the damage Wednesday. “By 10 o’clock last night, we had everything boarded up.”
Freshman Jamie Mones said that “some (students) were freaking out,” but most took the turn of events in stride.
Bob Machen, GCU’s campus development project manager, said Canyon Hall suffered the most damage. Hegel Hall, Fleming Library and Event Services (Building 8) also had several blown-out windows. The skylight gave way in the Building 2 office of Executive Chairman of the Board Brent Richardson.
Machen said there was no damage to the new Student Recreation Center, scheduled for a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Oct. 8 and a grand opening on Oct. 15.
Rich Oesterle of Facilities said that any damage to furniture, desks and windows should be reported to Facilities in the form of a work order. Computer damage should be reported to IT, phone damage to Campus Operations.
Contact Doug Carroll at 602.639.8011 or firstname.lastname@example.org.