CORPUS CHRISTI – In the interest of safety and student success, the first day of classes at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi has been shifted to Tuesday, Sept. 5, at the earliest.
This, after Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Texas coast late Friday night and caused damage across the state. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi was fortunate to suffer only minor structural damage, yet in Harvey’s wake, University leadership must spend the upcoming days fully assessing campus facilities, including campus housing. Island University President and CEO, Dr. Kelly Quintanilla visited campus early Saturday morning to survey the situation.
“We are grateful that our campus fared relatively well in the storm and we continue to turn our thoughts to those in the Coastal Bend community and beyond who were not as fortunate,” Quintanilla said. “Our Hurricane Preparedness Team worked around the clock to ensure the safety of all Islanders. Their planning ahead of Harvey means we sustained no injury to life and minimal damage to property.”
A&M-Corpus Christi is the only university in the nation located on its own island in the heart of the Texas Gulf Coast. With the potential of a strong storm surge ahead of Harvey, the campus was evacuated by noon on Thursday, Aug. 24, and has since remained closed to all but essential personnel. A full timeline for campus re-opening is still in development and will include enough time for all students to move into campus housing before classes start. Before move-in can be scheduled, housing staff will conduct a full, in-depth inspection of all rooms and common areas to ensure it is safe for Islander students. Fire alarm systems, water and electrical systems must also be functioning correctly before students can return.
“The safety of our students, faculty and staff remains a top priority,” said Quintanilla. “We do not want anyone making plans to return to campus until it is safe for them to do so.”
As of Sunday evening, Internet and phone service was restored to campus, along with partial electricity. Additionally, University personnel plan to open a call center in the coming days for those who need answers to specific questions. In the meantime, Emergency Information Hotlines remain open. The public, students, faculty and staff can call the following numbers to receive general updates throughout the campus closure:
Faculty/Staff Information Hotline: 361.825.9999 or toll-free at 1.888.234.4005
Student Information Hotline: 361.825.0000 or toll-free at 1.888.234.4887
“Our hearts go out to all those who were and continue to be affected in the aftermath of the storm,” Quintanilla said. “We at the Island University send you and your family well wishes and strength during this trying time.”