Oldest building goes down, WCU community looks forward to new Tatum Court

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) — Built in 1914 and the oldest building on the campus of William Carey University began the demolition process Monday morning.

The building was damaged after a EF-3 tornado ripped through the campus on January 21st.

We spoke to alumni and students observing the building that once was the face of the campus.

“I certainly have a lot of feelings. This is an emotional day. This is a very sad day for William Carey University,” expressed Scott Hummel. Executive Vice President of Provost and William Carey alum. “It brings back a flood of all these memories and relationships, generations upon generation of students that have come through here and then to see the columns come down in the front of Tatum Court.”

William Nese, a sophomore at the university, got out of class and spent most of the afternoon watching construction workers tear floors, classrooms and faculty offices apart.

“It’s like yesterday I was walking up those stairs to go to class and so it’s just like a normal day then now, just looking at it.  I don’t know. It’s just a weird feeling, he said.

When workers began to tear down the building this morning, it was raining but soon the sky opened up.

“The sun is out because we know that we’re going to have a new Tatum Court that’s going to have a strong historical resemblance. Nevertheless it’s going to be bigger and better and as this represented a great past, the new Tatum Court is going to represent a new fantastic future,” said Dr. Hummel.

The new Tatum Court will face South and now sit in the middle of campus. To keep sentimental value, old bricks will be used on the new building.

The hashtag and slogan, #CareyStrong has been used on social media and in conversation around the Pine Belt and for the Carey community it’s not just a slogan but a reality.

“I just feel like it’s bringing teachers and students closer together because of the fact,” said freshman Jarvis Thompson.

“We know that the Carey family is stronger than any of our building. Stronger than any of the bricks,” said Dr. Hummel.

A construction date has not been set to begin working on the new Tatum Court.

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