CEDAR RAPIDS – Mount Mercy University has announced its storm recovery and fall start plan after experiencing significant damage to campus after the derecho storm.
“Mount Mercy is a resilient community, and we will get through this together while staying committed to our mission of service and academic excellence,” said President Bob Beatty. “Our leadership team has been extremely busy this week carefully assessing the damage to our campus and evaluating all possible options to ensure the health, safety and well-being of our community. While campus remains closed, we believe it’s crucial to communicate our storm recovery plan and details for our fall start. We look forward to having our students and employees back on campus.”
Mount Mercy’s summer session is extended indefinitely due to the current power and WiFi outages. The start of the academic year has been delayed. The fall semester and Block 1 will start Monday, Sept. 7. Courses will be offered as designed—hybrid and online.
McAuley Hall sustained significant water damage and is unusable at this time. This has limited Mount Mercy’s overall housing capacity, so students who were placed in McAuley will be relocated to a different residence hall.
“We have made the difficult decision to only place students living more than 15 miles from campus in campus housing for the fall semester,” said Nate Klein, vice president for student success. “Residence Life staff will contact all residential students in the coming days to talk about next steps. Once campus power is restored, they will also communicate if a student’s housing placement has changed and what the new move-in date will be.”
The high winds damaged many of Mount Mercy’s outdoor facilities at the Plaster Athletic Complex, including soccer goals, outfield fences and track equipment. Hennessey Recreation Center and Rinderknecht Athletic Center were not damaged.
Mount Mercy plans to continue with fall sports. All student-athletes are required to complete a COVID-19 screening with a negative result prior to participating in team activities.
Mount Mercy is also highly recommending all students get a COVID-19 test before coming to campus. If students test positive, they must self-isolate for 10 days from the test date, be asymptomatic and have no fever for 24 hours before reporting to campus.
“Testing is important to ensure the health and safety of our entire Mount Mercy family,” Beatty said.
Campus will be open for employees to return to work on Wednesday, Aug. 19, if power is restored. A campus clean-up is scheduled Aug. 17-18 for employees only.
More information on Mount Mercy’s storm recovery and fall start plan is available at mtmercy.edu/storm-recovery.
Cover image: A tree fell on a home in a part of the Archdiocese of Dubuque. Many people lost electric service. Across the Midwestern states affected by the derecho, about 1 million people experienced power outages. (Photo by Megan Stammeyer)