AC remains open, constricts services to comply with city mandate


By Joe Wyatt

Amarillo College, which today resumed spring classes in a remote learning environment, will comply with the city of Amarillo’s Level Red shelter-in-place order by further constricting in-person services and entering Phase III of its COVID-19 Action Plan.

AC’s compliance with the city ordinance will begin on Tuesday, March 31.

Students are unlikely to notice drastic changes because AC, which is considered essential and intends to remain open throughout the present crisis, paused classes during the previous week to migrate to an all-remote delivery system.

By successfully transitioning to a remote learning environment, and by its commitment to following the CDC’s requisite social-distancing guidelines, AC is putting the health and safety of students and the community at the forefront of its efforts.

“We have no higher priority than to ensure the safety and well-being of our students, our workforce and our community,” AC President Russell Lowery-Hart said.

“For weeks we have been constricting our services so that students do not need to come to campus, they need to log in. We expect to have students who need technical support, but we will be here to provide it. We intend to be up to the challenge.”

Beginning Tuesday, March 31, the vast majority of in-person resources on the Washington Street Campus will be confined to the Ware Student Commons, where students lacking technology can access computers in The Underground.

Only a handful of AC employees whose presence is necessary for the College to remain functional will be required to report for work. Each will receive letters requesting their presence from Dr. Lowery-Hart; all others will work remotely.

That remote work will prove integral as the College continues to provide vital remote services like Advising, Tutoring, Financial Aid, Counseling and more. AskAC, at 806-371-5000, will continue to field all queries and provide direction.

The AC Bookstore will be accessible only online.

The AC Food Pantry will dispense pre-bagged food from the Overstock Area on the east side of Russell Hall at the following times: 8:30 a.m.-noon, M-W-F & noon-5 p.m. T-Th.

Hours of operation at The Underground are: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays; 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays; 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays; and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

Social distancing and continual sanitation of individual work stations will be diligently prioritized in all areas of the Ware Student Commons that remain open, including within The Underground, where cleaning supplies will be abundant.

WiFi is available thanks to AW Broadband, which has installed two hotspots on the north portion of the Washington Street Campus – lots No. 4 and 5 – and another at AC’s Community Link at 24th and Grand, so students in those locations can access the internet for free from the comfort and safety of their vehicles. Additional hotspots in the Amarillo community are marked on AW Broadband’s map at https://awbroadband.net/free-wi-fi-hotspots/

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