COLUMBIA — MU student Lauren Malm was scheduled to move from Fort Worth, Texas, into her apartment on Saturday at The Grove, a new 632-bed apartment complex on Rock Quarry Road where construction began in February.
Malm said management notified her Friday afternoon that her apartment wasn’t ready. Malm’s move-in date was pushed to Monday morning, then Monday evening. After spending her first three days in Columbia at the Quality Inn, she contacted The Grove and found out her apartment wouldn’t be ready until Tuesday.
As of Wednesday, 35 residents were still unable to move into their new apartments at The Grove, according to a statement read over the phone by Trent Rosenthal, general manager of The Grove. Of those 35 residents, 25 were staying in hotels paid for by the apartment complex. In addition to the Quality Inn, residents are staying at the Hilton Garden Inn.
Jonathan Maize, who moved to Columbia from Kansas City over the weekend, also found out Friday that he wouldn’t be able to move into The Grove on Saturday as he planned.
“I had a U-Haul full of stuff, and they told me the day before I had to leave that my apartment wasn’t ready," Maize said.
Maize stayed in the apartment of a friend who lived at The Grove while he waited for construction to finish on his apartment.
Some residents who were able to move in on schedule found construction issues. When Katie Koch moved into her unit on Saturday she found a cracked wall in the shower stall that she said didn’t seem to have been caulked properly, and the bathroom sink was cracked.
Koch also said that a leg on the apartment’s furnished desk was cracked and an end table looked like it had been “dropped in the mud—no joke.”
Koch's roommates told her they found food and bottles of water in her refrigerator, which she assumed workers had left because she and her roommates were the first ones to live in her apartment.
Resident Tim Shearn found scratches on the tile and furniture that came with the apartment when he moved in on Saturday. He said the sofa was also missing cushions, and the washing machine hadn’t been connected to the drainpipe. After the washer was turned on for the first time, he found a standing pile of water that made its way to the carpet in his room.
Shearn said he notified management at The Grove of the water, and worker quickly came to clean up the water and the carpets.
On Monday, the grounds of The Grove were hectic with maintenance and construction workers hurrying to different areas of the complex. Some operated heavy construction equipment. One worker installed a light bulb in an exterior fixture at a building that looked complete, while another worker standing on a boom lift did exterior work on a fenced-off building.
Residents waited at the front desk, complaining among themselves of late bus shuttles, which they said were running late throughout the day or had been filled to capacity and couldn’t pick residents up to take them to class.
In his statement, Rosenthal said that The Grove was doing “everything in our power” to meet the needs of residents and that the complex should be “fully operational as planned very soon.”