Wallace Hall

Unrepaired damage is shown Tuesday at the building where nursing and health sciences are taught at Jacksonville State University.

JACKSONVILLE A major Alabama-based bank is lending $34 million to Jacksonville State University to help reconstruct the campus that still bears marks from the March 2018 tornado.

Regions Bank has offered the university the loan to help pay for projects like the demolition and reconstruction of Merrill and Wallace Halls — two projects that have been held up due to disputes over insurance valuations.

“Some of the revenue we expected to come in has been slow to come in,” said Thomas Dedrick, interim chairman of the board. “We’ve been dealing with state insurers and because of that it’s necessary we have additional sources of revenue.”

That money will be “excellent” for the university’s recovery, according to Clarence Daugette, chairman of the business and finance committee.

Trustees unanimously approved taking on the debt.

They also approved a tuition and fees policy that doesn’t include an increase on the former. The board managed to keep tuition costs the same by adjusting university fees, according Dedrick.

The building and finance committee diligently looked for places to increase revenue, he said, but still keep JSU financially accessible.

“Rather than increase tuition, there were some adjustments made to fees,” said Dedrick. “Some were increased and some were reduced.”

In other business, JSU President John Beehler told trustees spring commencement would be the first to include graduates from the respiratory therapy program. He said 22 seniors will graduate from the program next month.

 

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