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UNC Wilmington will be delayed another week because of Hurricane Florence, with classes starting Oct. 8, university officials said Wednesday.
The university last week announced Oct. 1 as a tentative day for resuming classes. But that’s not possible due to damage to two residence halls, off-campus student housing and employee homes, Chancellor Zito Sartarelli said in a message to the campus Wednesday.
Opening on the Oct. 1 target date became too difficult, he wrote.
“Because of the significant repairs still under way at Galloway Hall and Cornerstone Hall, we were in the unfortunate position of asking those displaced students to delay their return until Oct. 6,” Sartarelli’s message said. “Over the past couple of days, we have been made aware of nearly a hundred additional off-campus students displaced by the storm and in need of housing assistance. In addition, as our employees have been able to return to Wilmington, they have discovered substantial damage to their homes – in some cases, total loss.”
So, he said, the decision was made to bring back faculty and staff on Oct. 1, as opposed to this week. Students can return to campus Oct. 6 and classes will start on Oct. 8.
“We realize that there may be students who have already made travel plans to accommodate the original move-in date of Sept. 29,” Sartarelli wrote. “We are very sorry for any inconvenience this may cause, but it was imperative that we not welcome students back until we were certain campus would be ready.”
The chancellor said university officials are still working out plans for a way to make up lost class time. For now, the university’s fall break and exam reading day are canceled. Beyond that, the timeline is unclear.
“We ask for your continued understanding as faculty leadership and I work through an incredibly complicated situation, with the goal of minimizing the impact on the semester as best we can and preserving the integrity of the academic programs,” the message said.
UNCW sustained water and wind damage in the storm and has been closed since.
Jane Stancill: 919-829-4559; @janestancill