Emergency Updates

Update 7/6 12:35pm:

University officials are working to clean up the debris and reduce the containment area around JH Richmond Hall.

Contractors are back onsite working on existing campus projects, including planned renovations at Winslow Hall (Fast Tracks).

CFSB was cleared for occupancy over the weekend. The elevator was checked and cleared for use on July 3.

The intramural field was cleaned and cleared for campus use on Monday, July 3.

The Housing Office is currently working on housing assignments for the 2017-18 academic year.

  • Housing rates will not change from what was approved by the University’s Board of Regents in June 2017.
  • JH Richmond Hall is expected to be offline for Fall 2017. Residents of JH Richmond Hall have been advised that they can stay with their Richmond Residential College if they elect to move into the original Richmond Hall, or can contact the Housing Office with their preferred housing option prior to July 11.
  • Housing assignments will be available to students on their MyGate accounts beginning July 22

Update 7/3 1:50pm:
Community note
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Colleagues and Friends,

Last week we, as a University community, experienced a near calamity with the incident at Richmond Hall. 

During the immediate aftermath, and still continuing, we have experienced tremendous support from the faculty, staff, students and community members in assisting and providing services.

I am extremely grateful to all of the members of the Murray State family who demonstrated compassion in the efforts to maintain services, answer questions, ease minds and provide a sincere caring spirit among all individuals who have been impacted.  I am also appreciative to all of the community members who responded with aid, action and words of encouragement.

Yes, a significant portion of one of our facilities is now rendered inoperable with the extent of the total damage still being assessed.   However, by all accounts, we are extremely fortunate.  We can, and will, replace and rebuild structures.   During this time, we must remember the spirit of community that embraced us all as we responded in support of others. 

As tomorrow is a day of celebration of our Nation’s independence and the inherent freedoms we hold so dear and important, let us also celebrate the deeds of humanity, caring and compassion that were exhibited by our campus community.   Let us also be grateful that we have such a place, physical as well as emotional, and recognize the beauty in our ability to put aside our own needs for those of others. 

Thank you to all who have answered the call to demonstrate how a caring and unified community responds in the time of need. 

On behalf of the leadership team of Murray State to all of you, we are all eternally grateful and extend our sincerest sense of gratitude.

Very Respectfully,

Bob Davies 


Update 6/30 5:37pm:

College Courts residents are now back in their respective housing assignments.

It’s expected that residents in Clark Residential Hall will be permitted to return to the building this evening, Friday, June 30.

University officials will be working throughout the day tomorrow, Saturday, July 1, to remove students’ belongings for them to collect in White Hall.

An FAQ website is now available for parents and students.

Update 6/29 5:45pm:

Officials have determined that four residential halls (Hester, New Richmond, Clark and Hart) and Winslow cafeteria have suffered damage, the extent of which is still being assessed.

Students relocated last night will remain in their new housing accommodations.

A structural engineer will be onsite tomorrow to begin assessing the structural integrity of New Richmond Hall following the explosion yesterday.

An elite basketball camp scheduled to begin tomorrow has been cancelled as the CFSB Center is currently without power. At this time, all other summer camps will continue as originally scheduled.

6/29/17 12:15 PM:

From Kentucky State Police (KSP): KSP have transferred control of the explosion scene on the campus of Murray State University to the Kentucky State Fire Marshall’s Office. Based on preliminary investigation, the explosion is believed to have been related to a natural gas release.  After consulting with state and federal prosecutors about preliminary findings, the incident is believed to be non-criminal in nature. However, the investigation is ongoing and is expected to take a significant amount of time.

At this time, University officials do not foresee this incident delaying the start of classes. The University’s fall semester is scheduled to begin August 15. 

6/29/17 8:25 AM: 
Presidential update: Richmond Hall
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Friends and Colleagues,

 As many of know, one of our residential halls, New Richmond, suffered from a tremendous explosion at 4:53pm on Wednesday, June 28.

 I want to thank all of our first responders, the multiple police departments, firefighters, EMTs, and others who went and helped as best and as quickly as possible. In the immediate hours following the event, the cooperation and coordination of law enforcement agencies, University officials and other critical services was exceptional. 

 There has been one reported injury requiring hospitalization.  Mr. Dakota Fields earned his bachelor’s degree in business in 2014 from Murray State as well as his master’s degree which he earned this past May.  I know Dakota from his exceptional work as a student leader, residential advisor, and this last year as serving as residential hall director.  Dakota recently accepted a position at Western Illinois University where he is going to assume greater responsibilities as a residential complex director overseeing several halls on their campus.  We wish you a very speedy and complete recovery, Dakota.

 We are blessed and fortunate that all students who are participating in the Governor's Scholars Program, the Commonwealth Honors Academy and the Adventures in Math and Science programs have all been accounted for and being assisted. All summer school students living on campus have also been accounted for and relocated to other residential buildings on campus.

 I want to thank all of the Murray State faculty, staff and community members who acted quickly and offered their unconditional and unwavering support.  This includes the vice presidents and campus leadership who acted quickly and professionally to ensure the safety of our campus and those on it. I also want to express my sincere appreciation for the numerous calls and messages from around the state, from our Governor, elected officials, fellow university presidents, and the numerous members of the Murray State family—our alumni, students and their families, our fans and other loyal supporters.

 The incident at New Richmond is devastating in many ways as it makes us aware of the fragility of many things in our lives.  At the same time, based on the response of many, the work of our team, the joining together to ensure safety and security demonstrates too the power of our Racer community. 

 Over the next days, weeks and months, we will learn more about what happened and also what will become of Richmond Hall.  Regardless, we will remain, as always, strong as Racers.

 Very Respectfully,

 Bob Davies

6/28/17 10:31 PM:

Campus operations will continue as normal tomorrow, June 29. All employees should report as scheduled. Summer classes and camp activities will resume their normal schedules. Dining options will be available in the Curris Center.

6/28/17 10:15 PM:

On-campus accommodations are being provided to all students living in the residential halls.

6/28/17 9:13 PM:

The investigation is ongoing and is being handled by the Kentucky State Police.

6/28/17 8:04 PM:

All rooms in all residential halls in the affected area have been searched and cleared. This includes Hester, Clark, Elizabeth, College Courts, New Richmond, and Hart.

6/28/17 6:47 PM:
Letter from President Davies

Dear Concerned Parent or Guardian,

In regard to an event earlier today on the Murray State University campus, all participants in Adventures in Math and Science (AIMS), Governor Scholars Program (GSP) and Commonwealth Honors Academy (CHA) have been accounted for and relocated. As you may be aware, at 4:53 p.m. this afternoon, an explosion occurred in New Richmond Hall. The cause of the explosion is believed to be a gas leak. Individuals are being asked to stay out of the affected area until emergency officials have given the all clear. Any on-campus visitors within the affected area are being relocated. Counseling services will be provided as needed.

Any concerned parent or guardian may reach the University at 270-809-4142. All other persons should monitor the website for further updates.

Bob Davies, President

6/28/17 5:53 PM:
Explosion at Richmond Hall

At 4:53 p.m. this afternoon, an explosion occurred in New Richmond Hall. The cause of the explosion is believed to be a gas leak. Individuals are being asked to stay out of the affected area until emergency officials have given the all clear. Any on-campus visitors within the affected area are being relocated. All participants in Adventures in Math and Science (AIMS), Governor Scholars Program (GSP) and Commonwealth Honors Academy (CHA) have been relocated.