‘Now we have to get out now’; UNCG college students evicted after ceiling collapse in Greensboro residence; Condemned constructing

GREENSBORO, NC (WGHP) – Several college students evicted after cracking the ceiling in their Greensboro apartment.

The damage was so great that both apartments involved are now condemned. It happened in the Block 43 Apartments on Merritt Drive near UNC Greensboro.

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“We’ve lost our homes, we’ve lost our belongings, we’ve got nowhere to go,” said Danielle Caiola, junior at UNCG. “It was so uncomfortable to live there and then of course just as we started to settle down, our ceiling tore.”

City officials told FOX8 that nearly 150 people were in the unit above Caiola’s at around 1:30 a.m. on October 27th.

Caiola and her roommates said they heard loud music and pounding before a lamp fell and the ceiling around the kitchen collapsed.

“They’re having a party and they’re like stomping and it breaks,” said one 911 operator. “It’s how dangerous”

Caiola ran outside to warn the people upstairs. Nobody was reported injured.

“We thought we had to get out now, and then our whole blanket broke over our heads,” she said. “In the end we couldn’t sleep and didn’t go to our test the next morning. We ran without sleep, without food, we were exhausted. “

Police tape surrounds both apartments, which have been condemned by the city.

Greensboro Community Improvement Division manager Troy Powell told FOX8 that the apartment needs to be remodeled.

“The floor systems are not designed for this high capacity of people in a small space,” said Powell. “The failures of these floor systems occurred and luckily they were able to fix them just in time.”

Crews have temporarily stabilized the apartment. Block 43, which belongs to the Varsity Campus, housed the displaced students in a hotel until Monday.

Jerry Wojenski, CEO of Varsity Campus, shared this statement with FOX8:

“We immediately hired a structural engineer to assess the safety and condition of the units after the incident. The apartments will remain empty for the time being until we receive the appropriate city permits for the conversion of the residential units. After the reconstruction of the units, we have our structural engineer and the city checked in order to receive a new occupancy certificate.

We are currently offering alternative housing within the community to tenants who have been evicted. We work with every tenant to find a solution that is appropriate to the circumstances.

Our rental agreement provides for a maximum of 10 guests. There are also other provisions, including noise violations, that are not in accordance with the rental agreement.

We reminded tenants that this type of behavior will not be tolerated in this community. “

The students were offered separate accommodation. Caiola and her roommates told FOX8 that, given the circumstances, they will not move back.

“We already knew who we were living with, and only COVID as a whole. We don’t know if these people are vaccinated or not, ”said Annette Medina, junior at UNCG. “We don’t know if they’re throwing these parties that could cause another ceiling to break.”

They plan to commute from their parents’ house in the triangle to the UNCG until they find a new place to stay.

“We all just want them to terminate the lease on their terms so we don’t have an impact on our rental history and loans,” said Caiola. “We just want to be released from this apartment, we don’t want to have anything to do with them.”

Wojenski told FOX8 that they are discussing the situation with the tenants who are responsible for the damage.

This is not the first time that we have reported problems with the Block 43 apartments.

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