The second week of January, rainstorms caused erosion to underground power lines towards the Old Shell entrance of Spring Hill College. This erosion led to a loss of power in the Student Center, O’Leary Hall, Byrne Memorial Library, Mobile Hall and the Gatehouse. Vice President of Student Affairs Kevin Abel said that the college worked with both Alabama Power and a third party company to repair the damaged underground power lines. Backup generators were installed as well.
Once repairs were completed, the power was expected to be restored on January 17th. Power was completely restored to the residence halls affected. The Student Center, Byrne Memorial Hall, and the Gatehouse continue to have issues. Abel said that when the power came back on, many lightbulbs were overpowered and blew out. This has caused the ongoing issue of darkness, particularly in the Student Center, that students, faculty, and staff have experienced since the start of the semester.
The light bulbs out in the Student Center affect areas such as Residence Life, Center for Student Involvement (CSI), Barnes and Noble Bookstore, and Campus Ministry. Campus Ministry Intern Easton Hollis said “Since the beginning of the semester, we have had fewer students come into Campus Ministry than usual. The lights being off makes the offices gloomy and seem as though they are closed.” When asked if there were any additional forms of lighting provided to offices Hollis stated, “We have two existing lamps and some Christmas lights.”
Likewise, Campus Ministry Director Colleen Lee said, “Not having lights makes us feel less hospitable to students, it makes us less welcoming and inviting, even though we welcome all students. I’ve seen less activity.” CSI Intern Nicolas Johnson also mentioned that “Light bulbs being out makes it difficult for us and other students to utilize our resource room.
Abel stated that the reason for the very long wait for the light bulbs to be repaired is that the bulbs are very specific and must be ordered, especially in this quantity. Hopefully, the bulbs will be delivered and begin to be installed this week.