Students will be able to take classes at the University of Houston-Victoria this fall as the university moves into a phased reopening of its Victoria campus and the UHV Katy instructional site.

“We are excited to have our students back on campus as we limit our occupancy to reopen slowly and safely,” UHV President Bob Glenn said.

Glenn initially announced the reopening during Tuesday’s Victoria Economic Development Corp.’s weekly Victoria Partnership meeting.

Classes will be offered both in-person and online this fall with classrooms limited to 50 % occupancy. Lectures will be streamed in real time and uploaded for students who aren’t in the classroom.

“We want to give our students choices so they feel comfortable, whether that is attending classes in person or watching them from their homes,” said Chance Glenn, UHV provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Both UH System and UHV reopening task forces have guided university administrators in the steps being taken to reopen UHV in Victoria and Katy.

UHV will start Phase 2 of its reopening plan on Monday with about 15 % of staff coming back to their offices on the Victoria campus and at UHV Katy. Both locations will continue to be closed to the public, and classes will be offered online throughout the summer.

Phase 3 will start Aug. 3, when about 30 % of the staff will come back to the Victoria campus and UHV Katy.

Both locations are expected to be in Phase 4 by Aug. 24, the start of the fall semester, when about 70 % of faculty and staff will return. Both the residence halls and UHV Library will be open, although occupancy will be limited to keep students safe.

“The safety of our students, faculty and staff was at the forefront of every decision that we made about our phased reopening,” Chance Glenn said.

In fact, the university is prepared to end the fall semester with all-online classes after Thanksgiving break if conditions warrant the switch, he said.

UHV began offering courses online March 25 after smoke and fire damage in UHV University West, the main academic building on the Victoria campus, made the building unusable after a March 12 fire.

The COVID-19 pandemic also caused university officials to postpone or delay all university events and ask all but essential staff to work from home. UHV’s spring commencement ceremonies were postponed but will be held as soon as it is safe for graduates and their families to gather.

University West will reopen in August, and UHV’s new residence hall, Don & Mona Smith Hall, will open to students. UHV’s three-story, 58,464-square-foot Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics Building will open this fall but will not be used for classes until the spring semester when it is furnished and faculty have moved into their new offices.

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