Move-in mess at App State

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BOONE, N.C. -- Some Appalachian State University students are living in hotels while their off-campus housing complex continues to be constructed.

The Cottages of Boone, owned by Capstone Collegiate Communities in Alabama, is slated to be the largest off-campus housing complex in Boone.

John Vawter, Sr., developer of the complex, said the rainy summer caused numerous construction delays. Vawter says the company has spent millions, over budget, to try to accommodate students for the inconvenience.

"We still got all our stuff in our cars right now. We can't move into the Holiday Inn," said senior Taylor Walker of Winston-Salem. The company put him in the Holiday Inn on 321 for an estimated six weeks along with a $15.00 daily allowance. "They are not giving us an option to get out of our lease. They are just saying you are kind of stuck here and we are doing better things for you but they're not."

Students were supposed to move on August 15, but earlier inspections failed, forcing students to move in on Sunday. The inspections department says 51 units passed inspection on Saturday allowing some students to move in.

"The floor was buckling, water in the basement, my window doesn't open, hot water didn't work in most of the rooms when we moved in," said Ashley Carter who moved in Sunday. Carter and her roommates, who are paying around $2,000 a month, say the company was fast to make repairs but living on a construction site is not what they signed up for last September. "I would go somewhere else."

Students say their original lease agreement allowed them to opt-out of their lease if no housing was provided with 30 days of August 15 move-in date. But an addendum to the lease, sent in late July, shows the opt-out clauses was removed.

Students say the right thing for the company to do is release them from their lease instead of forcing them to live in a hotel.