University apartment demolition plans affect resident families
Published: Sunday, December 9, 2012
Updated: Sunday, December 9, 2012 20:12
Some graduate families may find themselves in a tough situation at the end of the school year with the demolition of the University Apartments to make way for the Campus Pointe construction project.
Three of the older five buildings that make up the University apartments — Hensel, College View and Avenue A — will be demolished to make way for Campus Pointe. These apartments are commonly used as lower-rent housing by international students and their families.
Carol Binzer, director of administrative and support services for the department of residence life, said residence life will offer a four percent discount on any available two bedroom, one bath apartments to the 300 families that are being displaced.
Binzer said residence life notified families of the Adult, Graduate and Off-Campus Student Services, who can provide services to help them find a new apartment.
Binzer also said residence life will not offer any storage space or help pay for the moving expenses.
She said it will be difficult for these families to find another apartment in the same price range because Hensel, College View and Avenue A have been renting apartments at a lower rate than the housing market.
“[Hensel, College View and Avenue A] are the older stock of apartments. They were built around the fifties,” Binzer said. “In this market or economic climate, the University needs to maximize revenue we can make from our property, et cetera.”
Sarah Jaks, assistant coordinator of AGOSS, said it will be easy for families to make a mistake when looking to sign on to another place to live.
“It is going to take work and effort to find [an apartment],” Jaks said. “I would strongly advise [renters], even though it feels like a very tight time frame and [renters] are kind of under the gun to make a decision, to take your time and not to rush in to signing a lease. That could be one of the biggest mistakes you could make.”
The residents of the Hensel apartments have different opinions on the situation.
Agnes Zoudor, wife of an ocean engineering graduate student, said the apartments should be demolished. She said there are many problems with the apartment because it is old. The residents’ main concerns are that the new apartments are going to be too expensive and that they are not going to be as safe as the University Apartments.
“[The apartment] is really good for my kids,” said Sonia Argudhi, wife of a graduate student in Texas A&M. “I have an Indian community here and the Community Center is really good.”
Su Yang Liang, a Texas A&M Physics graduate student, said he and his family are happy with the University Apartments. They enjoy the affordability and the security that the apartments provide to them and their baby.