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American Campus Communities, Inc. Message Board

  • ou812_wak ou812_wak May 7, 2010 11:41 PM Flag

    ACC's management approach

    This complex is managed by ACC and so is the Edge. I bet I can tell where to look to find MOLD at the Edge. Yes, enough to close the doors.

    ORLANDO -- The University of Central Florida is taking steps to let management of a student apartment complex know they're not doing enough to fix a hazardous mold problem.

    Pegasus Landing houses about 2,500 students.

    Because it is privately owned, UCF cannot force them to do anything, but it is sending a strong message that it wants results.

    Students have seen the mold problem for themselves.

    UCF said Pegasus Landing is not doing enough to fix the problem, so they took action to send a message out.

    “We will no longer refer our students to live at Pegasus Landing,” said Grant Heston, a university spokesman. “We're pulling our RA's out of there."

    "That sends a big message to Pegasus Landing,” said Pegasus Landing resident Nathan Fist. “It would tell them to actually check for mold and make sure they improve that so that it doesn't happen in any other buildings."

    Resident advisors will provide students information about the complex from the main campus.

    UCF said it asked management for a comprehensive plan to fix the issue and so far has not.

    Bud Brewer, a spokesman for the complex, did not want to go on camera but released a statement saying, “a plan to address immediate concerns was developed on April 6th and was being implemented."
    "I've seen the mold problem,” said Cordell Moss, a resident. “When I first got to my apartment, you know my particular room, the mold problem is really terrible. I had to clean it up myself. (Was it fixed?) No it wasn't fixed."

    Some students have renewed their leases despite mold problems, while others are leaving.

    UCF will not make any recommendations one way or the other, but will only provide information on its latest actions against Pegasus.

    “(If a parent were to come to you and say,’ is it safe for my children to stay in this apartment complex?’) What I would say is our goal is to provide students and their parents with the best information possible to make that decision that makes the most sense to them,” Heston said.

    “(Your opinion, should people stay here?) No, I think they should look, find another alternative," Moss said.

    Heston said campus police will continue to patrol and proved security at the complex, and shuttles will continue to pick up students.

    Brewer also said they will conduct additional air quality tests.

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    • Do they even care about these kids? I think not, as they are hiding under the College Park brand. I they can't hide over at the Edge...

      UCF senior Sean Skopek said he never had any health problems until fall 2008 when he moved into Pegasus Landing and began suffering from a sore throat.
      “Doctors ran several tests to see if the sore throats were connected to something viral,” he said. “When the results came back, and nothing viral showed up, they figured that it might have been connected to mold in my apartment.”
      Skopek, a criminal justice major, said he began having sinus problems 14 weeks after he moved into the apartment and by March 2009 his symptoms were so severe, he had to go to the emergency room.
      “I had to visit the hospital again in January [2010],” he said.
      Skopek said he immediately reported the mold problem to the apartment managers, but for months no action was taken. Skopek said he was told to put bleach on the wall in order to get rid of the mold. After more complaining, he was relocated to Tower IV earlier this year. Days before spring break, 20 other students living at Pegasus Landing were moved to other apartments because of mold.
      The 22-year-old said he had doubts about moving into his original apartment because he could see one of the walls had water damage.
      “I constantly told management that we had a mold problem and nothing was ever done,” Skopek said. “It wasn’t until a lot more people from my building started to complain that things got rolling.”
      College Park Management, which manages Pegasus Landing, said in a March 19 news release that an industrial hygienist, hired by the company at the request of UCF, had found mold in a closet that contains an air handler. As requested by the university, other air handlers and surrounding areas in the Pegasus Landing complex were being tested.
      “We regret this inconvenience and any uncertainty this situation may have caused,” the statement released by Megan Edwards, Pegasus Landing general manager, said.
      While UCF ordered CPM to conduct the tests, Skopek said tests were not performed until he moved out in the beginning of the month.
      “My roommates and I visited the apartment November of 2008 and saw water damage before we moved in,” Skopek said. “We reported it and nothing was done until recently.”
      Grant Heston of UCF News & Information said in a news release that UCF had “requested immediate air-quality tests in other rooms of the Phase I buildings.” UCF does not own the complex but the apartments are staffed by UCF resident assistants and guarded by campus police.
      Skopek said he requested the results of the air-quality tests, but was told the results were “within human limits.” He said he was given four days notice by CPM to move out of his apartment in February and was assigned a room in Tower IV at UCF. However, his roommates were not ordered to leave until March 5.
      When the other 20 students were relocated after UCF asked for air-quality tests, they were each given a $282.50 Target gift card by CPM as compensation.
      Skopek said he only received $100 when he moved.
      “I asked the management why I received a lower amount of money in my gift card,” he said. “They just said that the rest of the money ... was applied to the cost of moving my belongings and television.”
      Skopek said that on March 17 he finally received the $182.50 after his father helped him contact CPM, but it took several weeks of protesting to get the payout.
      “I am glad that I kept fighting to get what everyone else got,” he said.
      Edwards of Pegasus Landing was out of the office Monday and her voice mail said she would not be back until March 30. Calls to CPM offices in Texas were also unanswered.

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