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April 28, 2020


FEMA Awards UVI $350K to Make Dormitories Hurricane Resistant


ST. CROIX, U.S. Virgin Islands– The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), recently awarded $350,601 to the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) to mitigate risks associated with hurricane-force winds and rain.

The wind retrofit for the Delta M. Jackson Dorsch Complex dormitories, Student Center, and server room at the Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix will include improvements to the existing building envelopes, doors, and window openings, as well as the hardening of rooftop and electrical equipment in accordance with current building codes.

“This award is a major contribution to improving the safety, quality, and durability of our residence hall, student center, and other student-focused facilities. Our students are the heart and soul of our work, and FEMA’s support allows us to fulfill our mission in a more meaningful manner,” Dr. David Hall, President of the University of the Virgin Islands. “I want to thank Ms. Washington for her leadership in regards to this project, and Director Williams-Octalien and the Office of Disaster Recovery for supporting the UVI St. Croix campus through this process.”

These enhancements will meet the requirements of the 180 mph Design Wind Speed for the USVI and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 7-16 for wind risks associated with Risk Category IV (Educational Facilities).

“UVI’s on-campus residence hall is a home away from home for students, maintaining a safe and comfortable environment in the face of an impending disaster is critical to fostering learning,” Adrienne L. Williams-Octalien, Office of Disaster Recovery Director. “Mitigating the risks posed by hurricane winds, allows the University to recover quickly and regain normalcy after weather events.”

The residence halls include 17 three-bedroom suites in eight two-story structures. The Student Center is an adjacent one-story structure that houses a combination auditorium/cafeteria, the Office of Student Activities, Student Activities Lounge, fitness center, and bookstore.

The total budget for the project is $2,854,897. The obligation for Phase I includes a technical feasibility assessment, as well as engineering and design. Phase II funding will cover project construction to completion.


The Office of Disaster Recovery
“Building a Legacy of Resilience”