Tornado Damage To University Campus Runs Into Tens Of Millions

JACKSON, Miss. (February 13, 2013)--Officials estimate it will cost tens of millions of dollars to repair the damage caused by a tornado Sunday on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.

The College Board voted unanimously Wednesday to allow Higher Education Commissioner Hank Bounds to sign contracts and take other actions without board approval to help the 16,000-student school recover.

Officials say USM plans to resume classes Thursday, although 87 sections will be in temporary quarters.

The tornado damaged eight or nine buildings at the southern edge of the school's campus.

One of those, a former fire station converted to house the jazz program, will have to be torn down, Bounds says.

A $500 million insurance policy should cover the cost of most of the repairs, but it has a $100,000 deductible.

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