Elon University students evacuated from Crest Apartments building 2020 in January because of a "cracked and sagging concrete floor" are still living in the Best Western Plus Burlington more than three weeks after the incident. The Preiss Company, owners of the apartments, told the residents of building 2020, on Friday, that they won’t be moving back in this semester, according to an email obtained by ENN.
More than 30 students were told to evacuate their building Jan. 14 after a partial collapse in the ceiling between the first and second floor.
"We are not allowed in that building," said Ian Reynolds, Assistant Director of Residence Life for Facilities and and Housing Operations, the day of the incident. "It is structurally unsafe."
Now, over three weeks later, Crest residents still haven't moved back in.
“I think the most difficult part is being so uniformed and just everything being up in the air,” Sophomore Cally Crocco said.
“It just keeps getting pushed back and back and back and that’s absolutely the hardest part is just not knowing and just not really being kept in the loop.”
Preiss is paying for rooms at the Best Western Plus Burlington.
Reynolds told ENN Wednesday that Preiss is "continuing their efforts on the repairs" to the apartment building.
"We are awaiting word from them as the owners of the space on the timeline."
Preiss did not respond to ENN’s request for comment. According to four emails from Preiss to Crest Apartment residents obtained by ENN, no official return date has been set.
One email from Jan. 22 states, "After demolition, we’ll have more details on the scope of the work and the timeline to get repaired.”
On Jan. 29, another email said “the construction crew will start addressing the breezeway at the building 2020 tomorrow,” and “once this has been completed, we will put together a scope/ timeline.”
The most recent email Preiss sent to Crest residents on Feb. 5 said “at this point we still don’t have a detailed timeline or scope, as soon as we have it we will forward.”
Junior Rachel Coose, who is also staying at the Best Western Plus Burlington for the last three weeks said communication on her living situation hasn’t been detailed enough.
“If we had a better line of communication I would say it was better but there’s nothing they can tell me at this point that will make anything better,” she said.
“You need to start doing something.”
With no communicated date to move back in, Coose said she’s not going to be able to participate in events she otherwise would have been able to.
“It’s just overall frustrating at this point. There’s nothing else to it. I’m sick of living here. The hotel’s been great but I’m just so sick of it," Coose said.
For Crocco, her physical location has begun to take a toll on her life outside of school.
“It’s really unsettling to be displaced from your home and not have your normal routine,” she said. “And to feel disconnected from campus and disconnected from friends.”