The second floor of Building 35 on Jackson Barracks in New Orleans now holds the reconstructed Upper Iowa University-New Orleans Center, which recently returned to full operations after it was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Bldg. 35 was heavily damaged by the hurricane and flood that destroyed most of Jackson Barracks. UIU has had a center on the Barracks since 1999 and, since Katrina, has taught classes at other temporary locations in New Orleans. The grand opening of the expanded UIU Center is set for May 18.
FAYETTE, Iowa (April 30, 2012) – Upper Iowa University will officially re-open its New Orleans education center at Jackson Barracks in ceremonies on Friday, May 18. UIU was forced to close its center location at the Barracks in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.
Participating in the UIU grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremonies at Jackson Barracks will be Brigadier General Owen W. Monconduit, Commander, 225th Engineer Brigade, Louisiana National Guard; Dr. Alan G. Walker, President, Upper Iowa University; and Dr. Thomas R. Warner, Chancellor, Nunez Community College, a key education partner with UIU. Also speaking will be Sgt. Albert Miller, a 2008 graduate of UIU, who was taking classes in 2005 and continued with UIU throughout the turmoil.
"Upper Iowa never really left New Orleans, but this is our new permanent and expanded location," said. Walker. "The Louisiana National Guard has been very supportive of the University resuming full operations at the Barracks, and we look forward to celebrating our return and continuing our educational services for residents of the area."
The Iowa-based University has operated an education center for military personnel and civilians at Jackson Barracks since 1999. Hurricane Katrina and the flooding that followed devastated Jackson Barracks, which is located in Orleans Parish, one of the hardest hit areas of New Orleans. After the levies broke, the building that housed UIU's center was surrounded by more than 20 feet of water and uninhabitable.
In the months that followed, UIU continued operations with temporary offices in residences, a FEMA trailer, and hotel lobbies. Temporary classroom space was found in a school classroom occupied by a SWAT team, a police station roll call room, the U.S. Coast Guard at Michoud, and at the Navy Reserve installation in New Orleans. To serve students who had been relocated from Jackson Barracks to Alexandria, UIU also opened an education center in Alexandria in 2006.
Walker noted that Col. Timothy Chastain, Jackson Barracks Post Commander, was especially key to keeping UIU operational at the Barracks. When the majority of the Barracks had been rebuilt and occupied in 2009, Colonel Chastain was able to find office space and borrow some classroom space for UIU until the renovated and expanded center opened.
"We have continued to offer classes in New Orleans, but had moved all of our major center operations to the Alexandria location," Walker added. "We are delighted to be coming back with full services to New Orleans. We appreciate the loyalty of our students and faculty who have continued with us and the partnership of the Louisiana National Guard in allowing us to return. We are excited to be fully back in business at Jackson Barracks."
UIU will continue to operate the Alexandria location, and UIU will open another center in Baton Rouge in summer 2012. UIU also has a Louisiana center at Fort Polk/DeRidder.
The UIU-Jackson Barracks Center is located at 6400 St. Claude Ave., New Orleans, serving members of the National Guard, active military and civilians. Before Katrina, UIU had an office in Building 35 and taught classes in the New Orleans Police Academy classrooms on Jackson Barracks. Now, UIU will occupy an entire floor of Building 35 with offices, classrooms and a computer lab. UIU employee Vicki Melton, who was relocated to the UIU-Alexandria center after the storm, has returned as center director.
The UIU New Orleans Center offers undergraduate degrees in criminal justice, human services, psychology, social science, business administration, emergency disaster management, management information systems, and public administration, as well as public administration with a fire science or law enforcement emphasis,. An associate degree is also available.
For more information about Upper Iowa University, go to www.uiu.edu.
About Upper Iowa University
Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a private, not-for-profit university providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs and leadership development opportunities to over 6,800 students—nationally and internationally—at its Fayette campus and learning centers worldwide. Upper Iowa University is a recognized innovator in offering accredited, quality programs through flexible, multiple delivery systems, including online and independent study.
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