University Housing executives address students concerns on sudden move

Shiann Sivell

University Housing announced Wednesday that at least 217 students of the approximately 470 living at University Villas were going to be relocated due to structural issues.

During one of the three Wednesday night meetings for University Villas residents, the executive director of university housing Peter Blutreich laid out the process of moving the affected students and addressed several of their other concerns.

During spring break, all of the on-campus buildings had their routine two-year inspection by the state. The inspection of University Villas pointed out several issues in the structure of the building and the university called for an additional investigation.

The investigation outlined structural damage caused by the complex being built by two different contractors around 2008 and from termite damage.

Blutreich said that the termite damage was already in place when the building was bought but that there are no longer any termites in the building.

“It wasn’t anything that was noted when the university first purchased it, wasn’t anything noted years ago,” Blutreich said. “This is nothing we planned, nothing we were anticipating. We found it, we’re taking action.”

Blutreich also said that the issues had to be addressed immediately and that they could not be off until the end of the semester.

Bigger issues

During the meeting, several students discussed the less than 48 hours of notice as one of the bigger issues to come out of the housing relocation.

One student asked why the residents of University Villas were not notified of these issues earlier in the semester.

“Why were these tests done now instead of when everyone is in the building?” one student asked.

“We did know over spring break,” Blutreich said.

“But why weren’t they done earlier?” the student asked. “You could have had more time to do these tests when no one is on campus.”

Blutreich responded that housing scheduled for the engineers who identified the issue were scheduled to look at the complex in January.

“The decision was made to get them in and out as fast as we could get them in and that was in January,” Blutreich said.

Students who will be relocated to on-campus facilities will be relocated on Friday from 12 p.m to 8 p.m., while students being moved to off-campus facilities will  be relocated Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Housing will help the students with the moving process but they would have to be as quick as possible to accommodate for other students.

“You don’t have to worry about cleaning your showers or your toilets, that will be done for you after you leave,” Blutreich said.

Blutreich said that all of the on-campus properties are being inspected thoroughly for any additional damages.

On and off-campus solutions

Students living needs will been accommodated where ever there is space available on and off campus.

There are currently 120 spaces available on various on-campuses locations that students will be matched to based on their living preferences.

Available off-campus spaces include nine spots at the Monarch 301, 40 at the Hudson and various more at 111 South, the Vault and Cambridge.

Blutreich said that housing is trying to keep roommates together should they want to be but only if there are available rooms.

Students will also be responsible for any damages to their rooms.

Buses will be rerouted to the Hudson to help students with transportation needs. Other issues such as meal plans and schedule conflicts will be addressed on an individual level.

Shiann Sivell, The George-Anne Enterprise Reporter, [email protected]