375 students safely evacuated to gym. Wagner College has evacuated all four on-campus residence halls, and the 375 students remaining on campus have moved into the Spiro Sports Center gym for the duration of Hurricane Irene. The evacuation was completed much more smoothly than staff had anticipated, and much more quickly, too, with many students moving into the gym on their own before the organized evacuation began. Even though a hot dinner was served in the dining hall before the evacuation, dining services set up a snack-and-sandwich line to feed the assembled students at around 8:30, and they plan to put up a late night snack as well. Students have unrolled their sleeping bags, are playing board games, talking and generally enjoying the World’s Biggest Slumber Party. To see a video on the evacuation scene in the gym, CLICK HERE.
Campus locked down. All buildings except the Spiro Sports Center are locked down. Two vans have been parked across the main entrance to campus, and anyone entering campus on foot is expected to come to the gym.
Hurricane status. The image here, taken at 9:50 p.m., shows the center of Hurricane Irene nearly at the Delaware/New Jersey border. The rain on Staten Island is coming down thick and steady now, but not hard — yet. About three-quarters of an inch of rain has fallen in the last hour, and the National Weather Service forecast says that the rate of rainfall is expected to double by 2 a.m., when sustained winds should reach about 50 mph. Rainfall rates should drop somewhat after 8 a.m. tomorrow morning, but the peak winds are still expected between 9 and 11 a.m. Sunday morning, with sustained winds of about 70 mph. For details, visit the National Weather Service website.
New York City shut down. Low-lying areas of the five boroughs were ordered evacuated earlier today. All public transportation in New York City has been shut down, and will not resume until at least 8 hours after the end of the storm tomorrow. Bridges onto Staten Island and throughout the New York City area will be shut down when winds exceed 60 mph. Some areas in downtown Manhattan have lost power.
Monday classes cancelled. Due to Hurricane Irene, expected to hit New York City Saturday night/Sunday, Wagner College has cancelled the opening of classes scheduled for Monday, Aug. 29. No classes will be held on Monday; the first day of classes will be Tuesday, Aug. 30.
Monday work schedule for employees. We expect that all campus functions — except classes — will be operating on a normal schedule for Monday, Aug. 29. This includes all administrative offices. However, please check this website for further updates.
Remember: Safety first. President Guarasci wants to emphasize that everyone associated with the college — parents and students moving in, faculty members preparing for classes, commuter students, staff and administrators — should put safety first. If it seems unsafe to travel, please don’t.