Houston & Peach

Ceiling of Fort Valley State classroom falls in; no injuries

Part of the ceiling in an unoccupied classroom fell down Wednesday morning in Fort Valley State University’s Bishop Hall, officials said.

No one was hurt in the incident, Executive Vice President Canter Brown said. Officials inspected Bishop Hall and found no other immediate problems in the mostly empty building, said Dwayne Crew, associate vice president for business and finance, who oversees plant operations.

Only two classes were meeting in the building, and one of those has moved to another location, Crew said. An instructor discovered that six or seven ceiling tiles and accompanying light fixtures had fallen, he said.

Bishop Hall, which houses the university’s mass communications program, is scheduled to close in May for substantial renovations, Brown said. An initial budget of $300,000 is available to stabilize the building’s foundation, Crew said.

The mass communications program will move to the H.V. Kell Building, which the Fort Valley State University Foundation is leasing from Fort Valley Mayor John Stumbo and Helen Rhea Stumbo with eventual plans to purchase it below market price. Bishop Hall originally was built as a dining hall in the 1930s.

To contact writer Jennifer Burk, call 256-9705.