By EVE CEDERBAUM
Three weeks after a 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck the Eastern seaboard, the dust is beginning to settle. While the University of Mary Washington suffered only minimal damages, Germanna Community College has been forced to close one of their main buildings.
UMW is renting out three classrooms and a computer laboratory at the Stafford campus to Germanna after the V. Earl Dickinson building was declared unable to provide any services to students and closed for major repair work.
According to Germanna’s website, the Dickinson Building is “a 76,000 square-foot facility, [including] classrooms, laboratories, a library, student lounge, bookstore and offices for administrative staff.”
According to Mark Safferstone, a board member of the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce, several UMW staff members responded to an email from the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce, offering assistance and support to Germanna Community College.
“[Rick] Pearce [vice president for administration & finance & chief financial officer] put together a group of a dozen people to sort out what they needed and how [UMW] could help them,” said Safferstone.
Germanna will be holding 12 courses at the Stafford campus for ten weeks, beginning September 28.
Additionally, Germanna will have special access to UMW libraries for the fall 2011 semester.
In total, Germanna had to relocate about 320 classes as a result of the building shutdown. According to Safferstone, most were moved either to Germanna’s Workforce Development and Technology Center, or converted to online or blended classes, in which material is taught partially online and partially face-to-face.
UMW’s University Librarian, Rosemary Arneson, is helping Germanna determine what other services will be needed while their library is closed.
“UMW has a working relationship with [Germanna], so it’s really just to try and help them out and give them a place for their classes for face-to-face instruction,” Arneson said.
According to Arneson, UMW has also talked with Germanna about having a representative present from the community college at the Stafford campus help desk to facilitate the transition and answer any questions that Germanna faculty and students may have while on campus at UMW.