Residence Life: ‘Any little issue’ could further postpone Pavilions


The Pavilions are upperclassmen apartments that were scheduled to open Fall 2017.

Monday evening and tonight, Residence Life staff met with Pavilions residents temporarily housed in hotels to provide an update on the unfinished on-campus apartments that were scheduled to open Fall 2017.

A student living at Residence Inn Marriott provided Hilltop Views with audio from the meeting in which Director of Residence Life Alicia Vela told the residents, “I’ll be real honest with you in saying [that] right now we are planning that you’re going in on Jan. 13just like we sent you in your letters today.”

Vela listed three factors that could prevent the planned move-in date for the Pavilions: labor shortages, weather challenges and permitting from the city.

University President George E. Martin has previously said that these statewide labor shortages can be connected to SB 4, in which “sanctuary cities” are banned, and police officers are allowed to inquire about immigration status for those who are lawfully detained or arrested, which led to critics calling this a “Show Me Your Papers” bill.

Weather challenges could include severe rain. Meanwhile, permitting in Austin could be delayed if there are scheduling conflicts with other construction projects.

“It is so close that the schedule is right up against move-in day,” Vela said. “And so with any little issue, it could postpone us.”

These 246 students have been provided with their room and roommate assignments, and will be receiving next semester’s housing bill this week, said Vela.

This is the second Pavilions update provided this month. As mentioned in the first update sent via email, Residence Life will be hosting a webinar for parents after Thanksgiving.

“To make the move-out process easier, we encourage you to begin taking your belongings home over the Thanksgiving holiday,” Vela said in the initial email update. “If needed, we will store your items over the winter break, at the university’s expense.”

If students are relocated to the Pavilions, construction workers will build walls to block off the North and the West wings to limit construction noise, which will take place for limited hours each day. If not, student will continue to live in nearby hotels.

Assistant Director of the Pavilions Marie-Louise Bridgeman addressed students questions regarding the order in which residents will move into the Pavilions.

“There were some rumors and people having concerns about there being a hierarchy of hotels, which hotel is going to move in first,” Bridgeman said. “It’s all or nothing.”