Student housing unfinished for first two weeks

Bond House furniture placed Sept. 4

Students moved into Bond House for the first time Aug. 25 before classes resumed at the University, but some students told The Cavalier Daily that the on-Grounds housing remained partially unfinished until Sept. 4. 

University spokesperson Wes Hester noted that the past year’s weather conditions delayed construction, yet, were not serious enough to prevent the fall 2019 move-in. 

Bond House, a new six-story building located on Brandon Avenue, is located near the Elson Student Health Center, the University Medical Center and the School of Nursing. The building is set up as four-student apartments, boasting full kitchens, up to two full baths, underground student parking and single-occupancy rooms. Although the building also has its own mail and laundry facilities, only the laundry facilities are ready for use on certain floors. Students are currently getting mail at Bice House. 

The Brandon Avenue apartments come furnished with a full size bed, desk with chair and wastebasket, built-in closet, two dressers, sofa, two lounge chairs, a coffee table, end table, kitchen island with four bar stools and window blinds. The apartments also include air conditioning.

Keith Jaco, a second-year College student and resident of Bond House, expressed mixed feelings about his new living arrangement, especially because of construction issues. 

“The rooms are nice, but you can clearly tell it's not finished,” Jaco said. “I like having the kitchen setup. I like the large beds, and it's in a pretty good location. I think that the decorations [are] a bit lacking right now. I think they're trying to fix that.”

Before Sept. 4, there was no furniture in the study rooms or common spaces of Bond House.

Katherine Choi, a second-year College student and resident of Bond House, was not bothered by the construction, except her outlets which weren’t working. She also described the uncertainty surrounding the move-in, as the University’s Housing and Residence Life alerted incoming residents in June by email that the building was expected to be completed by the scheduled move-in period but there may be unexpected delays. In that event, students would be allowed release from the 2019-2020 housing agreement with no penalty or given HRL facilitated connections with off-Grounds apartments or temporary on-Grounds housing in Alderman Road or McCormick Road residential areas with temporary free meal plans. 

On Aug. 14, HRL sent an additional email to residents stating that “there may be cosmetic needs that will be completed after you move in.” On Aug. 22, they notified students that work — such as cosmetic needs in hallways and common spaces — will continue in Bond House throughout the fall semester. Weekly emails will be sent to students so they know if Facilities needs to access their apartment.

“We didn't even know if we were moving in for sure until like a week before moving in,” Choi said. “In the email, they were saying that there's still going to be a lot of cosmetic needs — like within the building, in the hallways and the study rooms. And so I was almost expecting completely unfinished, but my hall...looks done.”

Drew Fansler, a resident of Bond House and a second-year College student was positive about the move-in. 

“It was really good for as many people as there were and the lack of parking space,” he said. “I felt like it went really smoothly and they had everything very organized.”

All residents of Bond House are second-year students. There are 172 female residents, 134 male residents and six resident advisors who live on each floor. 

Bond House is part of a new Brandon Avenue Upperclass community. The House’s construction cost is estimated at $46 million. Through design features such as underground parking, green spaces and glass areas to showcase learning and activity, these apartments will apply some of the sustainability goals of the University. The green space features an open courtyard facing the south and west for lounging as well as landscaped areas by the courtyard containing terraced seating, steps and walkways.

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