CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The University of Texas Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas was hit hard by Hurricane Harvey more than 4 years ago, and one of the biggest impacts was on its student housing.
The UTMSI had maintained subsidized housing for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as postdoctoral scholars, but since the storm's damage, students have struggled to find housing.
Some have been living off-campus; others have had to commute from out of town.
Now, work has finally begun on a new housing complex for those students.
Ground was broken Tuesday morning for what will be known as the Wilson Cottages.
It will be a 14-unit complex that will provide housing for up to 14 students, and will include 3 single units, 5 double units, 4 duplex units, 1 ADA unit and 1 ADA duplex unit.
Turner & Ramirez Architects designed the cottages with the intent of being respectful to the Mustang Island environment.
In fact, president and principal architect Philip Ramirez said they used the dunes as part of the design.
"These are very low footprint type development," Ramirez said. "Instead of a large dormitory-type project, these are individual little cottages that are nestled into the dunescape here, so it is actually a feeling of kind of being immersed into the landscape."
Ramirez said the location will give students a great place to rest and recharge as they conduct their studies and research.
State representative Todd Hunter worked with the UTMSI to secure funding for the project.
Construction is expected to take 14 months.