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UHV delays freshmen, sophomore start date to give time to complete hall renovations

By ERICA RODRIGUEZ
Aug. 5, 2010 at 3:05 a.m.


Rescheduled Events Welcome Week - A week of information fairs and recreational activities targeted at the students and involving other community groups will be rescheduled for Sept. 5-12.

Victoria Chamber of Commerce student welcome event - The event, that will feature more than 50 local businesses, will be rescheduled to 5 - 8 p.m Sept. 9 on the UHV campus.

UHV Part-Time Job Fair - A part-time job fair for local businesses to recruit students will be rescheduled for a later date.

New freshmen and sophomores at the University of Houston-Victoria will get an extra two weeks of summer because of construction delays at Jaguar Hall, the university's dorm.

Administrators announced Thursday that freshmen and sophomores will begin their classes Tuesday, Sept. 7, instead of Aug. 23.

Freshmen and sophomores will be able to move into the residence hall on Sept. 5.

"Our primary concern is for the safety and security of the students," UHV President Tim Hudson said in a news release. "Our construction renovation team needs a few additional days to make Jaguar Hall a fantastic place that students can call home."

Juniors, seniors and graduate students will not be impacted by the change and will start classes on Aug. 23. The semester will end for all students as scheduled, on Dec. 10.

Crews will need additional time to remove mold from rooms in the main building and demolish a deteriorating mold-filled building next door.

"We want to avoid exposing our students to the heavy machinery required for that process," Hudson said.

The extra time comes at no additional cost for the $9.5 million project. Thursday about 24 rooms in the main building still had unsafe amounts of mold, said Kevin Myers, director of facilities services.

All rooms and the hall commons area are expected to be complete by Sept. 3.

The demolition and removal of the rubble from the west building will be finished the same day. Extra classrooms in the building will be finished in early October.

To make up for lost class time, the freshmen and sophomore classes will be extended up to 30 minutes throughout the semester.

"We are treating this as we would any interruption in the normal schedule, such as those caused by hurricanes," Provost Suzanne LaBrecque said in a news release. "Fortunately or unfortunately, those of us who live in South Texas have plenty of experience with assuring that our academic mission is not compromised by short delays."

The option of placing students in hotels for two weeks was considered, but no single location could accommodate all potential students, Hudson said.

Soccer athletes, who begin practice on Monday, will be moving into the Quality Inn until the halls open, said Alexandra Baker, UHV director of housing.

Hudson remained positive about the transition.

"We have recruited a hardy, pioneering class of incoming underclassmen, from the Coastal Bend region, San Antonio, Houston, the Rio Grande Valley and beyond," he said. "I have no doubt that this short hiatus will simply add to the many stories that will become the legend of the first-ever freshman class at UHV."

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