Brooks Crossing residents will move out of hotels and into the new building next week, as decided by a team of UR officials who reviewed the building on Wednesday, Sept. 10. While awaiting the building’s completion, the building’s residents are being housed at Staybridge Suites and the Radisson Hotel Rochester downtown.

 

The construction, organized by developer Ron Christenson, was slated for completion on Aug. 1. In mid-August, however, the Office of Residential Life notified residents that the building would not be completed in time for move-in. Executive Director of Residential Life & Housing Services Laurel Contomanolis said that the University had been pressuring the developer since the winter.

 

The Office of Residential Life has worked diligently to provide as many accommodations as possible to students, including housing, shuttles to and from campus, a $15 per day meal stipend, a $5 per week laundry stipend, and storage for any items residents did not want to keep in hotel rooms with them. Many students have been assigned to double rooms in the hotels but have been kept with roommates where possible. All of the costs associated with these accommodations are covered by the developer, Christenson Corporation.

 

The Office of Residential Life will also reimburse residents for every day they could not live at Brooks Crossing. For students in two, three, and four bedroom apartments, the reimbursement will be $40.30 per day, while residents in single apartments will receive a $43.50 reimbursement per day.

 

“We’re not looking to profit off this,” Contomanolis said, explaining the logic behind the reimbursement plan. “They weren’t living in our facilities.”

 

For students, the arrangement presents logistical problems. One Brooks Crossing resident, senior Allison Eberhardt, travelled to and from campus many times during orientation  week. Because of the orientation schedule, she often had difficulty returning to

the Radisson and would stay at a friend’s off-campus house instead.

“I didn’t know where I’d end up at night,” she explained.

Students also expressed the difficulty of feeling settled in hotel accommodations.

“It’s hard to get comfortable when you don’t have your space set up,” Eberhardt said.

One of the Community Advisors for Brooks Crossing echoed Eberhardt’s sentiment.

“I only unpacked my clothes,” she said. “Not all my class things are with me. Getting settled is definitely different.”

Contomanolis appreciates this reality, and noted that students have been largely understanding.

“Students have been resilient and accepted what it is,” she said. “There are always a few complaints, but that’s just the world. …[S]tudents have borne this pretty well, but I know they’re anxious to get into the building.”

Although not all students are pleased with having roommates or the inconvenience of a commute significantly longer than a quick walk across the bridge, they have been understanding, noted Contomanolis.

“It’s not ResLife’s fault,” Eberhardt said. “It happened that way, and they’re doing their best to be accommodating. There’s really not much you can do to alleviate the fact that the place we picked to live for its convenience isn’t available, and now we’re living downtown.”

“I think they did the best they could,” senior Rory-Stefan Affoon said. “There’s only so much you can do with something that’s out of your hands.”

Remus is a member of the class of 2016.

 



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