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UPDATE: Chicago Bears donate to damaged Wisconsin school

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UPDATED Friday, July 11, 2014 --- 4:37 p.m.

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. (AP) -- The Chicago Bears are donating $50,000 to a relief fund at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, which sustained tornado damage last month.

The team presented a check to school officials Friday. The Bears held summer training camps at the Platteville campus from 1984 to 2001.

The university was damaged June 16 by a tornado packing winds of up to 120 mph. Three residence halls sustained water damage and displaced roofs, and wind-swept debris smashed dozens of windows.

Two other buildings and the school's football stadium were also damaged.

The Pioneer Relief Fund is being used to support affected students and staff with food, clothes and temporary housing.

Chancellor Dennis J. Shields encouraged people to wear orange and blue Friday, the colors the Pioneers and Bears both wear.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Friday, July 11, 2014 --- 5:10 a.m.

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. (AP) -- The Chicago Bears are donating $50,000 to a relief fund at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, which sustained tornado damage last month.

The team is expected to present a check to school officials Friday. The Bears held summer training camps at the Platteville campus from 1984 to 2001.

The university was damaged June 16 by a tornado packing winds of up to 120 mph. Three residence halls sustained water damage and displaced roofs, and wind-swept debris smashed dozens of windows.

Two other buildings and the school's football stadium were also damaged.

The Pioneer Relief Fund is being used to support affected students and staff with food, clothes and temporary housing.

Chancellor Dennis J. Shields encourages people to wear orange and blue Friday, the colors the Pioneers and Bears both wear.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, June 25, 2014 --- 6:17 p.m.

A little over a week after two EF2 tornadoes hit Platteville. Businesses are still picking up the pieces.

"This is cement board siding that got damaged in the storm," said Chris Oneill.

He and Josh Russell are helping to repair Dunkin' Donuts in Platteville.

"Replacing steel and cleaning the side of the building. Removing debris from the side of the building," said Russell.

NBC 15 met them last Tuesday after the storm hit. Russell said a lot of the repair process included cleaning up damage and debris.

"Wednesday morning when the power came back on, we opened back up for coffee.And then as the day progressed, we were able to get more stuff out: some donuts, some sandwiches. And we were fully functional shortly after lunchtime," said Mike Woodward, Dunkin' Donuts store manager.

They were able to being operating once power came back on. They were lucky enough to have sustained mostly exterior and cosmetic damage.

Dairy Queen sits just down the road from Dunkin'. They were closed for four days. The storm left trees impaled in walls, smashed windows a shattered cake case, and fried cash registers. Those are just the major problems according to Dairy Queens owner, Tom Sigwarth.

Both Dairy Queen and Dunkin' Donuts still have a few windows boarded up. Another thing they have in common: they're thankful no one was hurt.

"I had two employees here. Thankfully they were able to get to the bathroom before the windows blew out," said Woodward.

Luke Mikule is from Milwaukee, but he's already been affected by the storm.

"They called me and cancelled my placement testing. That was the day after the storm," said Mikule.

He will attend UW-Platteville as a freshman next fall, and came to town for orientation.

"It seems like everyone's really getting together and trying to fix this," said Mikule.

And that's the plan. UW-Platteville Chancellor, Dennis Shields says the university has an 80-day plan. They expect the 3 damaged dorms and all dining facilities to be functioning by August 15th when students return.

They also say the stadium is replaceable, and should be able to host games by September. They have informed the Platteville High School, who plays their games on the field, to have a back-up plan for summer and into fall.

"I think we have a 250 ton crane. So next week, we'll move the concrete precasts to assess all that," said Rob Cramer Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services.

Rob Cramer says the dorms sustained roof damage, and they believe the Engineering building was struck by a car.

Insurance estimates on the damage still haven't been fully compiled. While Chancellor Shields believes everything will be repaired on time, they have contingency a plan. He says the dorms sustained the most damage, so education shouldn't be interrupted if the rebuild goes into the school year.

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UPDATED Wednesday, June 25, 2014 --- 5:46 p.m.

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. (AP) -- The tornado that hit the University of Wisconsin-Platteville last week damaged at least four buildings and an athletic stadium, and the chancellor says repairs could cost more than $10 million.

Chancellor Dennis J. Shields said Wednesday officials hope to have the buildings repaired by Aug. 15. Classes start after Labor Day, but some students are expected to arrive by Aug. 15.

Shields says three residence halls sustained water damage, mainly because of broken windows and damaged roofs. He says there were about 200 summer students scattered throughout the residence halls when the tornado struck on the evening of June 16, but the only injuries were bumps and bruises.

He says the athletic field's artificial surface was torn up by broken glass and will have to be replaced.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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Posted Wednesday, June18, 2014 --- 10:35 p.m.

Three days after an EF2 tornado hit UW-Platteville's campus, classes and activities are scheduled to resume on Thursday. But severe damage to some buildings has left them unusable for the near future.

Three residence halls, the Engineering Building and the stadium will remain closed for assessments and repairs. It's unclear whether the damaged stadium will be able to be fixed.

“We're waiting to hear if the stadium can be fixed and if it will be repaired in time to use it,” said Mark Molesworth, UW-Platteville Athletic Director.

Molesworth is currently exploring other nearby fields to use if the stadium can't be used.

“It's important for the students athletes, for the community, for the campus that the games go on,” he said.

Instead of touring campus buildings today, incoming freshman Adam Kocovsky was touring the damage.

“It's just terrible... some buildings are fine but others aren't and you don't even know if they're going to be able to house students that are incoming,” Kocovksy said.

University spokesman Paul Erickson remained confident the school would be prepared for students come August.

“Whether it's in these buildings or whether we have to make other arrangements, we will be ready for our students,” Erickson said.

While crews work to patch up windows and gaping holes, the one thing that remains in tact is the Platteville spirit.

“Mother nature hit us pretty hard on Monday, but she didn't knock us down,” Erickson said.


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