Univ. of Louisville students, parents upset at disastrous housing conditions

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Deplorable and unsafe. That's how hundreds of University of Louisville students are describing their new off campus housing.

They began moving into The Grove Apartments Saturday to find much of the facility still under construction. You'd expect to find concrete floors, bedrooms without doors and windows missing from apartments months, maybe weeks before a building's completion, but not after the doors open to students two days before the start of school.

"We obviously walked into a construction zone," Samantha Frank, a UofL sophomore said.

Hard hat areas, piles of dry wall, countertops and exposed wiring are just a few of the 70 major complaints filed by dozens of UofL students at the newly developed Grove Apartments, off 4th Street.

"They talked about all the amenities, and how it was a fully loaded college campus experience and...our door locks don't even work yet," Nolan and Patton Scott, two brothers who moved in Saturday said.

Without working locks, anyone can walk inside the complex.

"We don't feel safe. It was not what it was advertized. Told it was a gated community. This is not gated at all," Frank said.

Some students mentioned an armed robbery occurred here just last night. However, Louisville Metro Police did not have any evidence of this on record.

While some students continued to move in to these apartments, some already paid in full, others were on their way out.

"We are getting a refund and getting a new place to live," Katlinne Dickerson, a junior said. "We were supposed to move into our room yesterday, but we got in and there was mold everywhere, nothing was finished."

Tenants were floored to find no working elevator, glass windows missing from the stairwells which allowed rain into the building Saturday evening and construction materials at every turn.

"There was no carpet, no painted walls. There's construction workers there now just sitting in the halls," Sarah Cocanougher, a junior said.

"There's some apartments that don't have water heaters or toilets yet," Patton Scott said.

"No running water, the dishwasher was sitting in the middle of our kitchen," Dickerson said.

"We're paying for things in this facility that aren't even here yet," Frank said.

The Grove is a privately owned and operated student housing facility out of Charlotte, North Carolina. However, UofL has and 'affiliation agreement' with the complex. We're told the university was under the impression that all reserved rooms would be finished by this weekend.

WHAS11 spoke to the Chief Operating Officer with The Grove, Robert Dann, who said 23 out of the 438 students that were assigned rooms were put in hotels.

Many residents are questioning how this complex could pass code. The Grove said it met all minimum standards for a temporary certification of occupancy, awarded by the city. However, Dann says he is "absolutely disappointed" and taking responsibility to make things right. He says the two buildings not yet complete are not open to tenants. At this time, at least 70 work orders have been filed by students, whether electrical or plumbing-related. Dann could not give a timeline for when everything will be completed.

Mark Hebert, spokesman for the University of Louisville, released a statement shortly after the WHAS11 story aired:

"We're extremely disappointed that several units were not ready for students to move in despite assurances that they would be. We have met with the senior management of Campus Crest who admitted their mistakes, agreed to our demands for increased security and promised to provide temporary housing and compensation for the students most affected. We are also reviewing our affiliation agreement with Campus Crest while they work to correct all problems identified by their tenants – U of L students."


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