As every Cardinal Collegian knows, the University of Louisville is overflowing with people. With incoming freshmen being strongly advised to live on campus, (along students from all over the country and the world) housing is completely full. The leadership at the University of Louisville has let it be known that UofL is ready for this growth; but is it really?
With the enrollment numbers climbing, it is getting increasingly cramped on campus, and apartment complexes are being built to accommodate the growing influx of students. The newest apartment complex to open is called The Grove. The Grove is off of 3rd Street, and provides an easy walking distance to students who want to live there. The Grove offers many amenities that make it even more appealing, such as a 24-hour fitness center, a pool, high-speed internet, private rooms and bathrooms, etc. This sounds ideal, right? What college student would turn down a place that advertised to be the newest, best apartment so close to campus?
(The space between the window and the wall is large enough to fit your hand through)
Hundreds of students signed their leases to live at the Grove and were told their move-in date was August 23, but all these would-be tenants were not ready to walk into the mess that was their supposed new homes. The Grove was (and is) anything but livable and prepared on the move-in date. Some rooms did not have door knobs. Most rooms and hallways either had no carpet or too much carpet, to the point that doors couldn't open. Some outlets were not covered and had exposed wires. There weren't windows in the stairwells, making the last few days of torrential downpour and extreme humidity harder to bear. Men with construction vehicles and tools are still working on the facility three days after the move-in date.
Not only is the building not finished, the staff at the Grove was not ready for the families to be moving in their children. Many residents complained about the hours they spent in line, when there were not a lot of people in the line to begin with. Students and families alike were in shock at the state of the building and lack of preparation.
One student said, “I am seriously disappointed at the state of the buildings. When I signed my lease in June, The Grove made it very clear that they would be done by the time classes start. While moving stuff in, a parent informed me that their child’s room still didn’t have carpet and their move-in had to be delayed. There is missing glass in the stairwell windows and the first floor is flooded slightly because of this." There are around 430 residents at The Grove, and some have been forced to find somewhere else to stay. The promised amenities (like the pool or the clubhouse) are not finished. Some students don't have locks on their doors, and the entry gate has not been completed.
Upon research, this is not the first time this company has had this problem: similar problems were found with Campus Crest, the mother of The Grove apartment complexes. According to The Maine Campus news source, there was construction debris found scattered on move-in day and even some cases of mold arose in the location in Maine. Upon finding more articles, three students were injured due to a balcony collapsing at a Campus Crest property near the University of Northern Texas.
On social media, as of August 22, The Grove was still "pumping up" students to move in:
But the Grove's Facebook page is full of students and parents demanding an explanation for the lack of safety precautions, the ongoing construction, the unfinished amenities, and the disorganization.
With classes starting, swarms of college students are flooding campus. Here's my advice to them: make sure you know what you're getting into when you sign a lease. This binding contract determines your living situation for the next year, as well as your bank accounts emptying for rent. Whether it is The Grove or any other off-campus housing, you better hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.
According to this article, at a meeting Monday night, students were promised that construction inside the building would be finished by October 1st, and the pool would be finished by September 19. Campus Crest is offering residents a month of free rent, as well as accommodating 23 residents in hotel rooms until the Grove is complete.
Photos courtesy of Taylor Ichinose, screenshots and cover courtesy of The Grove Louisville's Facebook Page.