Breaking News: University Village delayed once more

Residents of University Village buildings 5 and 6 received an e-mail just before 9 p.m. Wednesday night informing them that their apartments would not be ready on the previously scheduled move-in date of Sept. 30.

Gilbert Arias, assistant vice president for student affairs, said that the most recent delays, which will push the move-in days to Oct. 3 and 4, a Tuesday and a Wednesday, resulted from the City of Coral Gables withholding the certificate of occupancy until the north parking garage of the Village is completed. In addition, Arias said that the city also said that a sidewalk must be in place by building 1 on Albenga Avenue in between the garage and Ponce Boulevard to provide a safe walkway for students moving into their apartments.

“Students will be better off in the long run because [the apartments] will be ready this time,” Arias said. “We won’t experience the same problems we did with the other buildings.”

Arias said that the circumstances causing these delays are out of the university’s control. He added that the primary factor influencing the overall delays is a shortage of construction workers in South Florida.

Patricia A. Whitely, vice president for student affairs, said that the university realized what needed to be done after a meeting on Wednesday at 4 p.m. Prior to this, it was believed that the Sept. 30 move-in date would be met.

Because the contract with the Biltmore Hotel, which houses 122 students, expires on Oct. 5, it thus became necessary to schedule the move-in days during the week.

“It’s very unfortunate,” Whitely said. Regarding the possible difficulties of students moving in during the week, she added, “We’re going to be as flexible as possible.”

In spite of all the university’s efforts to accommodate students’ needs, Whitely is well-aware of what the reaction will be.

“Obviously students are going to be disappointed and very unhappy, but at the same time I think there’s been reason for the delays,” she said. “They are as frustrated about this as we are.”

T.J. Eisenstein may be contacted at Greg Linch may be contacted at