GSU planning to close an on-campus apartment complex

GSU planning to close an on-campus apartment complex

STATESBORO, Ga. (WTOC) - Parents who send their students off to college want them to find a place to live that’s a home away from home. Georgia Southern plans to shut down an on-campus apartment complex after issues with several buildings.

If finding housing on campus is like musical chairs, this takes several chairs out of the game. Georgia Southern tries to maintain enough spaces for every first year student who wants to live here. This cuts those numbers just a little closer.

From the outside, it’s hard to tell which buildings at University Villas remain open and which ones closed last Spring. Now, students who live in the remaining buildings learn those won’t be available next Fall.

“I was planning on living here next year," said student Jevante Blue. "Based on this, I’ll probably have to find somewhere else. No, I’ll definitely have to find somewhere else to live.”

University housing leaders say Southern bought this complex from a developer who used two contractors. Last Spring, they found problems and moved hundreds of students elsewhere but kept the others open for roughly 150 students.

“In order to maintain and repairs, it was going to be cost-prohibitive to continue to operate the complex in the future,” said GSU Housing Director Pete Blutreich.

He says they try to maintain on campus housing equal to about 20 to 25 percent of student enrollment - similar to the national average for public colleges. He said they also want to spread the word now so students can look elsewhere on or off campus.

“It’s not like I’m going to have limited options. And better to find out in January than June, definitely,” said Blue.

The university will return more than 400 spots Fall 2021 when Kennedy Hall reopens. Southern closed it in 2019 due to mold and air quality issues. They believe they’ll have those corrected over the next 20 months.

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