Alabama Power Gift Supports Relocation of USA’s Coastal Weather Research Center

Posted on November 29, 2018
Alice Jackson

A recent $350,000 donation from Alabama Power Company will bring changes to the University of South Alabama’s Coastal Weather Research Center.

The money will be used to move the facility out of the Mitchell Center, where it has been located since 1999, to the former Engineering Laboratory Building on USA South Drive, north of Moulton Tower. The center is the only for-profit weather center in the United States that is located on a university campus. Throughout the year, center staff predicts weather for more than 100 commercial clients in nine states as well as for the University.

“Alabama Power Company has been a client of the CWRC for 15-to-20 years,” said Pete McCarty, director. “They approached us, asking us what we needed, and we said ‘different space and equipment.’”

McCarty said the move will give the five-member staff an opportunity to develop an emergency alert center, complete with a video wall for displaying maps and models as well as an area to hold briefings. He said the move, which is in the initial planning stages, will also mean moving the meteorology broadcast center and several classrooms to the new location, which is conveniently next door to the Communication Building.

Dr. Sytske Kimball, professor of meteorology and chair of Earth sciences, said the move will also include new HVAC, carpeting, painting and cabinetry. 

“With the Mitchell Center adding new events all the time, the new area will be less noisy for our purposes,” McCarty said.

The donation was coordinated by the University’s Office of Development. Anyone wishing to make additional gifts should contact the development office at (251) 460-7032.

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