UHV dorm gets makeover after hurricane

Gabriella Canales By Gabriella Canales

Sept. 9, 2017 at 9:03 p.m.
Updated Sept. 10, 2017 at 6:01 a.m.

Nick Luckie, a sophomore at University of Houston-Victoria from Lago Vista, moves some of his roommates items while moving into his dorm.

Nick Luckie, a sophomore at University of Houston-Victoria from Lago Vista, moves some of his roommates items while moving into his dorm.   Nicolas Galindo for The Victoria Advocate

When Dallas Rogers was told his dorm room at Jaguar Court sustained damage from Hurricane Harvey, he wasn't surprised.

"I saw the videos of flooding in Victoria," Rogers, 19, said. "I saw the gaps between the door and floor, so I was positive."

What amazed him when he entered his room were new wooden floors and fresh paint.

"Before, we had tile flooring, so I like this wood flooring better," he said. "I'm happy they did the renovations after the damage."

The South Carolina native was among many students returning to move in after the University of Houston-Victoria reopened the dormitories Saturday.

Driving to Texas, he stopped in Bay City to visit family, Rogers said. He evacuated with family during the city's mandatory evacuation.

"It feels good to finally start school," he said.

First-floor dormitory rooms located at the back of Jaguar Court received new paint jobs, flooring and drywall to address the damages from the hurricane.

The rooms sustained the most damage out of the university's dormitories, said Brandon Lee, director of residence life.

Lee and another employee notified the students upon arrival that their rooms sustained damage and their belongings had been moved before the hurricane, he said.

"It was a good upgrade," Lee said. "The time period gave us a chance to do them faster."

The doors remained locked for Lee to walk through the room with the students, he said. Each student also received a personalized letter.

Lee and other university officials assessed each dorm room for damage after the hurricane, he said. Prior to the students' arrival, the rooms were inspected each day for safety.

If students find their belongings were damaged, the damage will be handled on a case-by-case basis, Lee said.

Opening the dorms earlier will allow students to return to campus sooner and prepare for Monday's classes, he said.

Although Jaguar Hall is still being repaired, students can move in and will not be disturbed by the work, he said.

Jurnee Fernandez, of California, was among the students moving in to Jaguar Suites for the second time.

She first moved in the last week of August during the university's originally scheduled move-in day.

After evacuating for the hurricane to her parents' home in Nevada, the two-week period without school and soccer practice with the university's team had her eager to return, she said.

"I'm excited," Fernandez, 19, said. "I miss the team. All my friends are at school."

About 250 students are expected to move in during the weekend, Lee said. About 395 students moved in Aug. 24.

Welcome-back events are scheduled during the first week of classes to maintain a positive atmosphere for the students, he said.

"We are trying to get back to normalcy," Lee said.



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