Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Remodeling project in West Campus apartment disrupts residents, forces temporary relocation

Champers Fu
A kitchen is remodeled at the Texan apartment on 3-6-2024. Over the period of 6 months, the apartments at Texan will undergo around $2 million of renovations.

A remodeling project at a West Campus apartment complex has left residents from 23 units disrupted, forcing many to temporarily relocate mid-semester amid construction zones.

Texan West Campus, located at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Pearl Street, is operated by American Campus. Contractors first began construction on the units for the $2 million renovation project in February.  The renovation will modernize units to “ensure residents’ satisfaction and comfort,” according to a statement from Texan management.  

According to the statement, the complex is facing difficulties with the quality of their contractors’ work.

The statement also said that management has required their contractor to go back and make makes changes to past work to remedy these issues.

American Campus originally gave affected residents five weeks’ notice to pack all belongings and advised them to vacate units during the 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. construction hours, said resident Trisha Clennan.

Clennan said management moved up the remodel of her unit one week from its original start date with 12 days notice. Although she and her roommates were told the construction would not displace them, Clennan said that unfavorable conditions in the unit led them to stay in an Airbnb. 

Additionally, Clennan said she received no financial compensation from Texan & Vintage despite spending around $700 on living expenses at her Airbnb during the 11-day construction process — almost the cost of one month’s rent at the complex.

“It’s basically very dirty,” psychology sophomore Clennan said. “There were a couple of nights where we just didn’t have sinks, there was a night where we had no oven. … There was just open mold.”

Clennan said she met with UT Legal Services before the construction began, who walked her through the conditions of her lease.  

“It’s very eye-opening to see that all of it was pretty much allowed — I couldn’t really fight against any of it,” Clennan said. “A lot of their terms in the lease are just super vague to the point where you can’t refute anything that they are saying to you.”

According to Texan management, the construction is scheduled to last until June, with all units expected to be renovated. Even as renovations wrap up within each unit, residents still find themselves living in a construction zone.

Resident Garrett Blanton said he couch-hopped for four days before staying at his fraternity house during the nine-day renovation of his unit. During the construction, he said he and his roommates would be expected to unpack and repack their belongings every day and live without sinks or countertops.

“It messes with your whole life,” economics sophomore Blanton said. “You don’t have anywhere to go back to, so I would literally come here on campus and then just find various spots. That’s not normal.”

Overall, the construction has been an inconvenience for both students and workers at the complex, Clennan said. She said that disruptions from the renovation also affected her academic life by cutting into study time and taking a toll on exam grades during midterms.

“It’s unfortunate for everybody involved,” Clennan said. “Not just the residents.” 

Editor’s Note: This story was updated to clarify only Texan apartment units were affected under Texan & Vintage West Campus. It also was updated to clarify that Texan management has required the construction crews to return to remedy issues. The Daily Texan regrets this error.

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