As moving trucks and cars packed to the roof start rolling into the Centre Region this week ahead of Penn State’s fall semester, the opening of two buildings at a new apartment complex will be delayed.
Dominic Ramunni, a Penn State junior from Easton who signed a lease for a four-bedroom apartment last November, said he received a call from staff at The Heights, saying there was a problem resulting in a delay of his move-in date.
The Heights at State College is part of the new Turnberry development between Blue Course Drive and Circleville Road in Ferguson Township. The complex will be accessible from the new Havershire Boulevard, which will connect Blue Course and Circleville as part of the development. The Heights is one of several new complexes in the region where crews are working all hours to finish in time.
“They’re telling us Sept. 5 or 6,” Ramunni said of when he, his roommates and fellow residents can move in. “It’s making a stressful situation a little more stressful.”
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But Ramunni said The Heights staff have been accommodating, offering rooms at the Atherton Hotel for the interim.
If the students find their own places to stay, they’ll get two months in the new complex rent-free. With his rent at $508 per month, Ramunni is hoping to do the latter.
“My roommates are going with the hotel,” he said. “I’m going to try to bunk with one of my friends. That two months free rent is pretty enticing. I haven’t asked anyone yet. I just hope I’ll be able to bring a sleeping bag.”
Development partner Keith Cooper said two buildings are affected by the “snafu,” for a total of 24 of the 213 units. He said his team had to order new bathtubs to make accommodations for first-floor handicap accessibility and that they were “a little difficult” to obtain.
“We’ll be delayed five to 10 days at most,” he said. “We’ve informed everybody.”
The township already has signed off on the development’s zoning requirements, said Manager Mark Kunkle. Developers have posted a $400,000 surety, Kunkle said, for items not yet completed and not related to tenant safety.
Centre Region Code Agency Director Walt Schneider said none of the apartment buildings had yet cleared their final housing inspections by Monday. He wasn’t sure about the townhouse units.
Ramunni said the staff members he’s spoken to have been apologetic, both the time they called him with the information and when he called them back to ask questions.
“We wanted to take care of everyone the best we could,” Cooper said. “We understand this is an inconvenience for students, and we’re not happy about it as well.”
The Heights website and Facebook page don’t mention the delay, but the Facebook page offers photographs of apartments that appear to be complete, with couches, dining room tables and washers and dryers in place.
Photos also show parking lots paved and striped in front of some buildings.
Cooper said students whose units are ready will begin moving into their apartments Thursday and Saturday, ahead of the Aug. 26 start of Penn State classes.