A portion of the roof of Templin Hall, home of the Dr. Mary T. Christian Auditorium on Thomas Nelson Community College’s Hampton campus, collapsed Monday afternoon. No one was in the building at the time and no injuries were reported.
“We are extremely fortunate no one was in the building at the time of the collapse,” said Dr. Porter Brannon, the College’s president. Shortly after 6 p.m. Monday, campus police, plant services, and other college officials, as well as units from the Hampton Division of Fire and Rescue, responded to Templin Hall. Upon arrival, it was determined a roof had collapsed in the area of the auditorium. Thomas Nelson Campus Police secured the area, and Hampton Fire and Rescue personnel shut off the utilities to the building.
According to Paul Long, the College’s Interim Director of Emergency Preparedness, Templin Hall had been closed for classes and to the public since the spring 2020 semester as part of the College’s proactive response to the COVID-19 pandemic to reduce the presence of faculty, staff, students and others on campus. College officials and officials from the Virginia Community College System offices in Richmond were on campus Tuesday morning to begin a thorough investigation into the incident. Templin Hall will remain closed until further notice.
The Hampton campus library shares a wall with Templin Hall. Out of an abundance of caution, the library will also remain closed until further notice. No other buildings on the Hampton campus appear to have been affected by this incident. Templin Hall is a 49,143-square foot education and performing arts building, constructed in 2002. The 470-seat auditorium, which appears to have sustained the most damage based upon preliminary observations, is named for the late Hampton educator, community leader and Virginia Delegate Dr. Mary T. Christian. Templin Hall also houses classrooms, laboratories, and faculty and staff offices.