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Apartment Construction Delayed, Students Without Housing

It's move in weekend for Penn Staters, but some students are having to move into hotels.
STATE COLLEGE, CENTRE COUNTY - It's move-in weekend for Penn Staters, but some students are having to move into hotels.

Construction on two new, privately-owned student housing complexes in State College has been delayed. That means about 50 students are having to find alternate housing.

The students have two choices. They can either stay in a hotel room at the Atherton Hotel in downtown State College, which is provided by the apartment managers, or they can try to find alternate housing with friends.

In the meantime, one student says the delay is causing more stress in a difficult situation.

It's T-minus two days until Penn State move-in weekend, but for some students, there's just one problem.

"They told me that due to a final inspection issue, that we wouldn't be able to move in until September 6," Dominic Ramunni said.

Dominic is a rising junior at Penn State. He signed a lease last November for a four-bedroom apartment at The Heights at State College off Blue Course Drive.

He says he never expected something like this to happen.

"It was a little irritating," he said. "It's making a stressful situation a little bit more stressful."

If you take a ride around State College, chances are you've seen one of the seven student housing projects under construction.

"This is the busiest construction season the agency has seen," Walt Schneider said. "The projects seem to get all caught up together."

Schneider is in charge of signing off on the code inspections for all housing projects in Centre County. He says this year has been particularly stressful, especially with student housing.

"You basically have one shot to hit the final date, and if you don't, you have very little occupancy until the next year," he said. "All these projects are feeling some pressure because of that."

Schneider says six of The Heights apartment complexes still need to be completed, but the townhouse units should be done by the end of this week.

He says the status of the construction projects change day to day, but no matter what the deadline, the project isn't done, until it's done.

"No way are we going to allow somebody to occupy a unit that we don't think is safe," Schneider said.

Something Dominic appreciates.

"I certainly don't want to move into an apartment complex that isn't structurally safe," he said. "I'd like it to be complete in a timely, yet safe fashion. They're taking their time, make sure it's done right."

The students have been offered two months of free rent if they choose to find alternate housing, rather than stay at the hotel.
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