Power restored to Victoria College, classes begin Tuesday

Gabriella Canales By Gabriella Canales

Aug. 24, 2017 at 9:12 p.m.
Updated Aug. 30, 2017 at 5:57 p.m.

Joshua Aleman, 20, helps Yvonne Bustamante, 18, left, unpack her things in her new dorm at the University of Houston-Victoria.

Joshua Aleman, 20, helps Yvonne Bustamante, 18, left, unpack her things in her new dorm at the University of Houston-Victoria.   Olivia Vanni for The Victoria Advocate

Updated at 5:55 p.m. Wednesday

Power is restored to Victoria College. Campus cleanup is underway.

Classes and normal operations will resume Tuesday, Sept. 5.

No further alerts are expected from VC reference Hurricane Harvey.

Updated at 6 p.m. Sunday

Victoria College facilities received only minimal interior damage, according to a press release.

Based on an initial assessment, there appears to be little or no structural damage.

“Overall, Victoria College fared well," said President David Hinds. "The Crossroads took a hard hit, but we truly hope that our students, employees and neighbors are safe and on the road to recovery."

Water has entered several buildings because of broken windows and minor roof leaks.

The campus grounds are covered with broken tree limbs and debris. The power remained off at the main campus as of 5 p.m. Monday.

Buildings primarily affected include the Sports Center, Language Building, Academic Building, Allied Health Building and Technology Center.

All Victoria College locations will remain closed until after Labor Day because of Hurricane Harvey’s impact on the area.

Normal operations and classes are expected to resume on Sept. 5.

“We’ll be asking essential personnel to return to campus sooner—when there’s power and when it’s safe for them to do so—to help prepare our classrooms and offices for students to return to campus,” said Hinds. "We understand that many of our students and employees were impacted by the storm, and we will do everything we can to accommodate their needs."

Updated at 5:32 p.m. Sunday

Victoria College will resume classes on Sept. 5. Staff and administration are expected to return to work sooner than students and faculty.

Updated at 1:54 p.m. Sunday

University of Houston-Victoria will remain closed until Sept. 5.

Updated at 1:54 p.m. Sunday

University of Houston-Victoria officials are in the process of initial assessments of facilities after Hurricane Harvey.

The assistant fire marshal, the safety and security team and physical plants director surveyed the university’s buildings for damage, said Vic Morgan, university president.

Jaguar Hall, the freshman dormitory, was the most susceptible to water damage, Morgan said Sunday.

“The roof didn’t last too well, there’s lots of wet furniture,” Morgan said. “We will begin tomorrow to seal that building and start drying it out.”

Other facilities were less effected by the storm, he said.

“Jag Suites was not too bad, Jag Court was in good shape, the West building was not bad and the Center building was pretty OK,” he said.

Officials were still performing a survey of the North building, he said.

The students were bused to the University of Houston main campus before the storm, he said.

“It’s a dry facility and they are on the meal plan with UH,” he said. “They are in good shape.”

The university and UHV Katy will begin classes on Sept. 5.

“We will not bring students back until we know the buildings are ready and we have safe environments for them,” Morgan said. “We won’t start until we get everything back in some degree of workability .”

Additional information will be available as more walk-throughs are conducted, he said.

Updated at 8 p.m. Saturday.

University of Houston-Victoria and UHV Katy will remain closed through Tuesday.

Victoria College will remain closed through Tuesday because of the mandatory evacuations in the area.

Updated at 5:25 Saturday

Victoria College has extended its closure through Tuesday, said Darin Kazmir, director of marketing and communications at Victoria College.

All classes and activities scheduled at Victoria College on Monday and Tuesday have been canceled.

Officials will assess damage to the campus and are planning to issue an update by 5 p.m. Sunday, Kazmir said.

Updated at 5 p.m. Saturday

Officials with the University of Houston-Victoria were assessing campus Saturday to determine damage caused by Hurricane Harvey, said Paula Cobler, director of marketing and communications with the university.

No plans had been made to extend closure of the campus. The university had announced earlier that the campus would be closed Monday.

Updated at 4 p.m. Saturday

Victoria College will remain closed through Tuesday. Officials will assess facility damage and issue an update by 5 p.m. Sunday.

Updated at 10:11 p.m. Thursday night

UHV residence halls will close at 7 a.m. Friday due to the mandatory evacuation of Victoria County.

Original Story

Brandy Sanchez carried black suitcases, plastic baskets and supplies to stock her dorm room as she began her journey Thursday at the University of Houston-Victoria.

"It feels indescribable," Brandy, 18, said. The incoming freshman moved in along with the help of her mother and aunt.

Brandy and her family traveled from Los Fresnos to be at the university's move-in day

"It's my first time away from home," she said.

After recruiters traveled to her high school, she chose the university for its activities, programs and surrounding community, Brandy said.

When she and her family move in the last of her items and the time comes to say her final goodbye, she said she will feel sad seeing them off.

"I'm looking forward to new experiences with new friends," she said. "It's the experiences I didn't get to have if I stayed back home."

Before the mandatory evacuation was issued Thursday evening, Brandy said she planned to stay at the university's dormitory.

University officials posted a notice on social media at 8 p.m. Thursday advising upperclassman to not attempt to move into Jaguar Village until further notice. Freshmen who have moved in and have transportation to leave Victoria are encouraged to do so.

Walking to her new dorm room followed by her parents and little sister was Jennifer Sanchez, of Houston.

"It feels good," Jennifer, 18, said, explaining she plans to decorate her new room with flowers to create a "girly" vibe.

She chose the university for its affordability and small size, she said.

"My parents want me close to home," she said.

She hopes to participate in a variety of activities during her freshman year, Jennifer said.

"I want to explore and meet new people," she said.

This is the first time in the university's six years of move-in day events that weather issues are a concern, said Brandon Lee, director of residence life.

"We've got the same rush," Lee said, explaining the looming storm has not affected the number of students moving in.

There are a total of 660 beds at the university's three residence halls. This semester, they are expected to be at full capacity, said Jeremy Shapiro, UHV communications director.

Student safety is a primary concern, Lee said. A notice was sent to students before Thursday detailing the incoming weather.

"The residence halls are safe against the weather. The buildings are safe," Lee said.

Students were given the option to check in and return to their hometowns with their parents, he said.

Students are discouraged from moving in during the weekend, he said.

Jaguar Journey is canceled, said Michael Wilkinson, UHV Student Life and Services director. The events are planned to be rescheduled early in the semester.

"I was surprised on the turnout," Wilkinson said.

Wilkinson plans to coordinate with freshman seminar classes to cover the information students will miss because of the cancelation, he said.

Student safety was discussed with team leaders, he said.

Activities and food will be available for students who chose to stay in the dormitories during the storm, Wilkinson said.

"We will make sure our students are taken care of," he said. "We are all a family, and we are in this together."


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