On Aug. 15, residents of the third building of the Sterling Summit student living apartments were scheduled to move into their rooms, but were not able to move in.
Instead, they moved in four days later, on Aug. 19.
Residents received an email from Sterling Summit on Thursday, Aug. 11, informing them that they could not move into their apartments until the next Tuesday. On Sunday, another email informed the residents they would not be able to move into the third building until Friday, Aug. 19.
“From the time they sent the first email out on Thursday until we could move in over a week later, Sterling disconnected the phones. The only way we could reach them was to go to the leasing office in person,” said one resident of building three who wished to remain anonymous.
Construction was halted because materials that were needed to finish the building were delivered late, causing a five-day move in delay. Legally, no one was allowed to occupy the building because it was an open construction zone and had not been authorized by the inspector.
“We sincerely apologize to all the residents affected by the delayed move-in dates,” said Merideth Savoie, the director of national marketing for Sterling Summit an email to residents.
Many students were displaced without their parents to help them. Sterling offered to reimburse residents for their extended stays at hotels, and their rent has been abated due to the delay.
Residents were offered help moving into their apartments and a storage closet in other buildings for their things if they had no place else to store them.
When residents were allowed to move in, many were disappointed with the conditions of their apartments. They found the paint jobs were rushed, the wiring sticking out from holes in the walls, moldy food left behind by construction workers and in one case, human feces in the toilet.
Construction workers helped residents move their things into their apartments. In one case, a resident was called a “princess” repeatedly after asking for help multiple times.
The move-in process for the residents of building three operated differently than the process for the other buildings.
Residents of the rest of the complex were given an allotted time in which they were allowed to move into their apartment in order to decrease traffic.
In the case of building three, every single resident was allowed to move in on Friday at 10 a.m., creating up to three-hour waiting periods for them to receive their keys and start moving in.
Construction continues on site, as Sterling is building a few townhouses, as well as finishing other parts of the complex.
Residents are settling into their new homes, but some are not allowed access to their balconies and wake up to construction workers outside their rooms every day. The pool is still being built, so they do not have access to the gym that is attached to it. In one apartment, a resident documented a sink falling out of the counter on Twitter.
“I don’t want to be too hard on them because they’ve been trying to compensate. [Sterling] was helpful while we were moving in and they know that everybody is upset,” said Karli Lubin-Bresee, a resident of building three. “It’s not the Summit’s fault; it’s the construction company’s fault. Other than the five-day pushback, it hasn’t been too bad.”
Madeline Purdue can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @TheSagebrush.