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Audit sounds the alarm on serious code violations at Southern

1 year 7 months 4 weeks ago Monday, February 22 2016 Feb 22, 2016 February 22, 2016 11:55 AM February 22, 2016 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Infrastructure issues abound in a state audit that highlights a growing problem at Southern University.

Among the most serious problems found in the audit made public Monday morning, are a lack of fire alarm systems at two buildings on campus: John B. Cade Library and laboratory building A.O. Williams. Both buildings are on fire watch - where someone must walk the hallways each hour looking for smoke or fire. The audit found the library has not had a working fire alarm since July 2004. The system at A.O. Williams is deficient, auditors reported. Deficiencies began in February 2015. However, for five months, the fire watch was not conducted properly.

Other buildings are in disrepair - 33 of the 140 buildings on campus were built prior to 1968 and many are not maintained. Nineteen, the auditors said, were vacant.

"Safety deficiencies and potentially hazardous conditions exist on the SUBR campus," auditors wrote.

In addition to fire safety violations, buildings are plagued with sewer malfunctions and some do not meet the Americans with Disabilities Act - a law that requires buildings be accessible for people who are handicapped.

Auditors said for years SUBR has asked for money to make repairs, but due to state budget cuts rarely gets enough to do anything. In both fiscal years 2014 and 2015, university officials asked for $21.7 million but only received $4.8 million.

"SUBR has received limited funding for repairs and maintenance," auditors wrote.

Southern agreed. In its response, it said funding is the paramount issue as to why buildings are not maintained. However, the university said it feels it is doing the best it can with dealing with the problems.

You can CLICK HERE to view the full report.

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