Some Grove residents living with unfinished housing


By Clark Mindock

Construction workers work to complete the new apartment complex the Grove Tuesday afternoon Aug. 28. The apartment location is at South Lone Tree Road and East Franklin Avenue. (Photo by Sean Ryan)

Construction troubles and delays have plagued The Grove, a new student housing community near New Frontiers.  Some residents who have complained about the hassles have decided to be proactive.

Following a slow response by Grove management, Ryan Zmierski, a junior vocal performance major and resident of The Grove, took maintenance and finishing up his student housing into his own hands. A problem many Grove residents are experiencing, Zmierski was left with unfinished appliances and improperly installed amenities.

“The washing machine had pipes with paint crusted onto them,” Zmierski said. “I bought a wire brush and silicone tape and finished [the job].”

Zmierski noted several different installation and maintenance problems left for him upon move in, including a previously broken door handle, bathroom fixtures that had been left for him to install himself and improperly cut kitchen cabinets that, without further and different cuts, made the use of the garbage disposal and the dishwasher impossible.

Problems like these are prevalent for some Grove residents who have been having issues since the opening of the complex at the beginning of the semester.

In August, The Lumberjack reported preliminary issues for students moving into the complex. Included in these issues were delayed move-in times, seemingly hasty paint and finishing work, a lack of windows in some rooms and reported roof cave-ins.

Now, issues seem to be less drastic, but some students are resorting to unusual methods of getting The Grove to complete the work they expected.

“[My roommate] went to the office and filled out work orders . . . they called back a week and a half later,” Zmierski said, “[So] I decided to go ahead and do it myself.”

Emily Leverone, director of Marketing for The Grove parent company, Campus Crest Communities, stated the complex is attempting to deal with all issues as they arise.

Our primary goal is, and always has been, to provide our residents with a high-quality living experience,” Leverone said. “We take all resident inquiries, including maintenance requests, very seriously and do our best to respond to them in a timely manner and ensure a satisfactory resolution. All maintenance requests reported to our staff upon move-in have been completed and we apologize for any inconvenience our residents may have experienced.”

The Grove, which cost an estimated $33.1 million and was designed to house 562 students, is one of several projects begun in response to rising enrollment rates. The Grove has several complexes on campuses across the nation from Georgia to Washington state.

Issues with The Grove complexes are not unique to Flagstaff. According to a Texas CBS, in 2011, three men fell from a third-story balcony when it detached from the wall in Texas. The Grove claimed the balcony was never intended for actual use.

Previous Grove issues and delays in construction at the Flagstaff site were cited as being a result of heavy rains in the city over the summer.


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