FAMU students now moving in to Palmetto North

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By: Lanetra Bennett | WCTV Eyewitness News
August 25, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- As promised, students were able to move into the Palmetto North dorm on FAMU's campus on Friday after days of delay due to mold.

Interim FAMU President Dr. Larry Robinson said that there is no excuse for the dorm not being ready, but the school jumped into actions to fix the problems, and parents feel much better about it.

Students are happy to to finally be moving in, despite the delay. Incoming freshman Lenice Sejour is ready to get things going, telling WCTV "FAMU is my dream school."

By: Lanetra Bennett | WCTV Eyewitness News
August 24, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Dozens of FAMU students who showed up to move into their dorm are now displaced.

The students expecting to move into Palmetto North residence hall on Palmetto Street on FAMU's campus.

FAMU was re-opening Palmetto North because of an increase in incoming freshmen. Renovations were slated to be complete by the time students were scheduled to move in this week.

When Nicole Gibson arrived from Miami, she didn't expect to see workers still renovating the dorm her daughter's supposed to live in.

She definitely didn't expect to see this.

"Mold, holes in the wall. You have roaches in here. It leaks, the pipes are leaking, the toilets are leaking. The smell is horrible These kids can't live here," Gibson said.

University administrators say once they realized students can't live in Palmetto North, they pushed back the move-in date a few days.

Sherina Gass says she was told her daughter could check in at 9 a.m. Thursday.

"They told us it wasn't ready. So now we got to wait until 11:00. We get back at 11:00, it's still not ready. Then he comes back out, oh yeah, we need the keys back after you unload your stuff because from 1:00 to 5:00, we can't get in from 1:00 to 5:00. It's just a big inconvenience," she said.

Frustration moved Gass' daughter to tears. "I'm going to have to move all my stuff by myself. If they would've just told us ahead of time, it would've been better. The apartment's still not ready," her daughter said.

Dr. William Hudson, FAMU V.P. for Student Affairs said, "We were told at the last minute that they weren't going to be ready. From the estimates that we were given, they were to be ready by that time. When we were told that they weren't ready, we immediately started contacting parents. Some of them were already here, they came the night before. So, that's what happened."

Dr. Hudson apologizes to parents and students.

"It makes no sense that my child has to come from a home to a hole," Gibson said.

FAMU says it's paying for about 45 effected students to stay in hotels.
Dr. Hudson says parents will get to inspect the rooms Friday. If they're not satisfied, the university will provide the deposit to live off campus.

Administrators say a university building code inspector as well as safety officials are currently inspecting all of the buildings.

By: WCTV Eyewitness News
August 24, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Students moving in to Florida A&M University's Palmetto North on-campus housing are now being told that the rooms are not yet ready.

FAMU officials say approximately 45 students are being housed temporarily in hotels as they await the reopening of Palmetto North.

The University's housing department released the following statement regarding the move-in issues on Thursday:

The student experience, from start to finish, is of high importance at Florida A&M University. An on-campus housing experience can lead to several positive outcomes associated with student success. As a result, the University has worked to place as many students as possible in on-campus housing.

With this in mind, the University announced Tuesday, August 22, the following temporary changes to ensure the best possible housing experience for students and parents during the move-in process:

• Due to unexpected renovation completion delays and a change in the move-in timeline, students and parents were asked to postpone move-in at Palmetto North until noon on Friday, August 25, 2017, unless otherwise notified, to ensure a smooth move-in process and provide additional upgrades and modifications.

• As a result of the move-in delay, the University is reimbursing and, in some cases, covering the hotel lodging expenses of students and parents as they await move-in at the Palmetto North facility.

Other amenities being offered are:

• Meals for students
• Transportation via shuttle service
• Air-conditioned storage units for student belongings
• Moving assistance

Students who planned to move in on August 22-24 were given the opportunity to temporarily relocate to hotel accommodations until the facilities are reopened.

Parents and students received these updates on the evening of Tuesday, August 22, 2017, and throughout the day on Wednesday, August 23, 2017.

University leaders met with parents and students on Wednesday evening to provide updates and offer various resources and support. A call-in line has been established to provide students and parents with updates throughout the week.

Students will also have the option of attending a housing fair on campus to learn about alternative housing options.

FAMU remains committed to offering exceptional student services and will work around the clock to ensure a smooth transition for students as they begin their classes.

Students and parents assigned to Palmetto North may email famuhousing@famu.edu for additional information.

This is a developing story. We will bring you more information as it becomes available.

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