Cherry Hall Arson Affects Campus

By: Ryan Dearbone
By: Ryan Dearbone

The cleanup has began for WKU after fires were set in Cherry Hall.

Several rooms and hallways were mildly to moderately burned.

The buildings interactive classroom which allows classes to be taught simultaneously at WKU's smaller campuses is a total loss says WKU Assistant Vice President of University Affairs.

"The worst part of the fire was the I-TV lab, the Interactive Television lab. The equipment in that room alone is probably about $150,000. First estimates are real rough; these are just guesses but half a million dollars worth of damage."

The building was closed Monday but professors were allowed in to sift through their offices for lesson plans and other necessities.

"It’s a personal loss in a lot of respects. People's offices are very important to them. Their work is in there, so outside of their homes, this is the most important private place that they have."

The fact the fire appears to be intentional has many students both surprised and angered.

“I was caught off-guard, a little surprised. I think it’s stupid if it is arson that someone maybe getting real stressed about their finals but that's no reason to disrupt class for everybody else," says senior Justin Cress.

Freshman Matthew Lawrence says, "It’s the way society is today. Some people sadly enough, that's how they get their kicks. They see something beautiful like that and they want to destroy it."

Edwards says campus workers have been working feverishly to get Cherry Hall in good enough shape to re-open its doors for classes on Tuesday.

"Our facility workers came in early, around 3 o'clock, 4 o'clock this morning. So we've pulled facility workers from other buildings to come in and help with the cleanup on this."

Edwards says Cherry is expected to remain closed on Tuesday and a decision on Wednesday will be made Tuesday by noon.

Professors will contact students via email regarding alternate arrangements and missed assignments.

Crimestoppers and Western are offering a reward of up to $5,000 for any information that could lead to arrest of the person or person involved.

If you have any information you can call 781-CLUE.

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