BOONE, N.C. — Some Appalachian State University students living in hotels while their off-campus housing complex continues to be constructed, have to move again.
“It’s very frustrating cause this is our third day of classes, we need to be doing homework and now we need to pack up everything in our hotel room, that we tried to make a home for right now and move to another hotel,” said Jennifer Daniles of Randelman. Daniels and her roommates have to move out of the Fairfield Inn and into the Holiday Inn because their room was already booked for this weekends Bristol race. “We don’t even have a place to do our homework. It’s just hard bouncing from one room to another.”
Daniels and her roommates signed a lease last September to move into The Cottages of Boone. The property, 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.
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. However, an addendum to the lease, sent in late July, shows the opt-out clauses was removed.
“I feel lucky,” said student Sean West of Clemmons who moved out of the Holiday Inn on Thursday after family put pressure on the company they released him from his lease. “When I actually signed the termination contract, I was leaving and the handle came right off the door before I could even get out.”
Students living in hotels say the right thing for the company to do is release them from their lease, instead of forcing them to live in a hotel.