Barton Community College canceled Friday morning classes in its Classroom Building, due to a lightning strike to the building Thursday night. There was a small fire after the first attempt to restore power. Classes after noon were moved to another building if necessary, but the Classroom Building was fully operational by about 1 p.m., according to Michael Dawes in the college’s communications department.
"The direct lightening strike occurred to an outside light in the southeast parking lot," Dawes reported. "The electric charge traveled to the lighting breaker box in the basement of the C-Building, and then traveled to the main breaker box, also in the C-Building basement. The electrical problem with the C-Building wasn’t discovered until early (Friday) morning.
"The fire happened after maintenance crews made repairs and turned the breakers back on. They were on the spot when the fires to the lighting box and the main breaker occurred, so they were able to react immediately to extinguish the fire."
Dawes said overall damage was minimal, "other than some noticeable blackened areas to both breaker boxes," but it’s estimated it will cost $10,000 to make complete repairs to both breakers.