UHV prepares to start fall classes after Hurricane Harvey

The UHV flag whips in the wind Aug. 25 as Hurricane Harvey blows into Victoria. UHV experienced some wind and water damage to two residence halls and two campus buildings, but the campus will be safe when students return on Monday.

The University of Houston-Victoria is well on its way to recovery after a major hurricane made landfall along the Texas Gulf Coast.

Vic Morgan

Classes will begin Monday at UHV and UHV Katy. Students can return to the residence halls on Sunday. All UHV offices are open this week.

“Our Victoria campus received some damage, but our facilities team has worked hard in conjunction with our contractor and insurance company to begin repairs before the start of the semester,” UHV President Vic Morgan said. “I am grateful for all the hard work by our excellent facilities and security teams.”

Hurricane Harvey made landfall Aug. 25 near Rockport as a Category 4 hurricane before moving north to the Victoria area. UHV closed its Victoria and Katy locations at noon Aug. 24. On Aug. 25, the university evacuated any students who could not leave on their own and took them to the main UH campus on shuttle buses.

John Burke

After Harvey moved past Victoria, the university began damage assessments and cleanup efforts. In addition to several fallen limbs from trees on campus, the university received some wind and water damage to two residence halls and two campus buildings, said John Burke, UHV director of Facility Services. UHV Katy sustained minor damage from the rain in Houston.

“This was by no means a worst-case scenario for UHV,” Burke said. “A number of living spaces were affected, and all of our buildings still are standing strong. Our primary focus now is making sure the campus is safe for our students to return.”

The university lost power during the storm, and several branches and fences were downed across the Victoria campus. However, the grounds were cleared by Thursday, and power was restored to the residence halls on Aug. 30. Power was restored to the academic buildings on Friday.

Jaguar Hall and Jaguar Court saw damage in a few living spaces caused by water blowing under the doors. The affected spaces should be repaired this week, Burke said. In addition, the common area in Jaguar Hall will receive a complete remodel after the wind damaged a large window and caused rain to enter. The work should be substantially finished as students return this weekend.

The university also experienced some water damage in the University Center building and a broken window and water damage in University North. A few areas in University North, such as the Ron and Kay Walker Auditorium, a multitiered classroom and a multipurpose room are being repaired and will be safe for students to use by the time classes start.

“This work is just a stepping stone that we have to get over to resume normal business,” Burke said. “A few things might take a little while to get back to normal, but it’s not a big deal. We have been and will continue to take care of it so our students can have a safe and comfortable learning environment as they pursue their education.”

The UHV Katy parking lot served Sunday as a donation distribution point for emergency supplies.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.