Granville Towers informed residents of the East Tower on Tuesday that their move-in date has been pushed back at least three weeks.
Just 14 days before the first day of classes, residents of Granville Towers East received an email that their move-in date will be delayed due to unfinished dorm renovations.
Students were originally permitted to move in as early as Aug. 5, but according to the email, the dorm is now working to have half of the East Tower ready for occupancy by Aug. 29 and the second half ready by Sept. 12.
Renovations in the form of a "state-of-the-art" heating and air conditioning system began in early May, according to the email from General Manager Clayton Hayer. Hayer said Granville planned to complete the HVAC replacement in time for the earlier University fall schedule, but it was hindered by “unanticipated construction challenges” and “COVID-19-related manufacturing delays on crucial parts of the HVAC system.”
Kendra Randle, a sophomore majoring in neuroscience, planned on living in Granville for her second year in a row with the same suitemates from last year. She said she was shocked when she got the news.
“I didn’t even know how to interpret what I just read," Randle said. "I ended up reading the email multiple times to make sure my eyes saw.”
In the email, Granville offered students three options to navigate the delay. The first option is for students to live at home or in another short-term housing option until they can move into the dorm and receive a $100-per-day rebate for every day their move in is delayed from Aug. 5. The second option is for students to cancel their lease agreement with Granville and receive priority on a room in the East Tower for spring semester. The final option is for students who must be in Chapel Hill for in-person classes to live in a hotel room booked by Granville Towers. The rooms "will be in Chapel Hill but likely not within walking distance of campus," per the email.
“Complimentary transportation will be provided to and from Granville Towers from hotels outside of walking distance,” according to the email.
A statement from UNC Media Relations confirmed that transportation will be provided for these students.
Media Relations also said that “campus leadership asks all instructors to show care and compassion during this period. Students should first reach out to their professor and department chair for assistance with accommodations.”
For students who cancel their lease with Granville, moving into Carolina Housing is not an option.
“We are working to de-densify residence halls and are not accepting new on-campus housing contracts," Media Relations said in the email.
On Tuesday, Granville sent East Tower residents a form asking them to choose one of the options by the July 31.
For some students, the decision to cancel their contract with Granville is an easy one. Molly Klenzak, a first-year math major, has opted to move into an apartment off campus.
“I’d been wanting to cancel my lease and move off campus and do online classes for a while,” Klenzak said. "And I had started looking at apartments when they sent out that email, so that was just kind of like the icing on the cake.”
For other residents, the decision isn't so simple.
Dylan Heneghan, a junior double majoring in political science and communications, was planning to live in Granville for his third year in a row. This is not the first time he’s had to be flexible with his Granville housing. Last year, he had to evacuate for three days due to mold in the dorm.
Heneghan said it doesn’t make sense for him to stay in a hotel because he lives so close to campus. But he said he's also hesitant to cancel his lease, because he's worried it might jeopardize his housing for the spring semester.
“They have mentioned that if we pulled our lease then we will get priority for the spring to try and re-book rooms,” Heneghan said. “But that leaves the question of, 'OK, first priority for what? Just East building? Will I lose my single?' That’s been a huge concern.”
Representatives of Granville Towers declined to comment.