Morrison McGinnis residents forced out after building loses power, told to pack for 3 days

Morrison McGinnis residents were notified Monday afternoon of a power outage within the commons and told that the building would be closed for at least the evening, according to an email sent by Residence Life and Student Housing.

A university spokesman said the outage was caused by construction-related activities and that the school is investigating the incident.

Residents were encouraged to find off-campus housing with friends or family if they could.

The University Park Police Department closed the building and escorted students in to gather their belongings.

Two hours after the initial email, at 6:30 p.m., RLSH informed Morrison McGinnis residents that they should pack enough belongings for three days, and said not to make hotel arrangements themselves.

RLSH ultimately booked rooms for displaced residents at the Hilton Anatole in the Design District — and told students they were allowed one Uber or Lyft ride to get to classes and one to return a day.

During rush hour, the drive from the hotel can be close to half an hour, according to estimates from Google Maps.

This outage comes after several last semester. In September, a daytime outage affecting a large portion of campus was also caused by construction activities, according to the university.

In October, an outage forced residents campus-wide out of their rooms for hours, with an initial plan for an overnight stay at Highland Park Methodist Church. Power was restored just before 9 p.m. that evening for some commons, but later for others.

The outage led to Provost Steven Currall requesting that all exams and assignments the next day be postponed.

According to Oncor, that outage was caused by equipment owned and operated by SMU, which is located under the tennis complex, malfunctioning.

This is a breaking news situation. More information will be posted as soon as it becomes available.

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