Abbot Manor condemned, students to be moved to different housing indefinitely
Update: 3:30 p.m. — Some residents who had to evacuate from Abbot Manor have reported similar problems with their relocations. Advertising senior Sean Reiter was helping his girlfriend, who previously lived in Abbot Manor, move into her new apartment at The Village at Chandler Crossings.
"Not even 24 hours later we found mold along the running boards, there was a towel in the bathroom that was completely rotted," Reiter said. "If you walk on the floorboards water shoots up, literally shoots up. You can pull stuff off the wall and look down to see all this black mold. The walls are basically like mush."
After calling WestPac offices about the problem, Reiter said his girlfriend was contacted by area director Colleen Lewter.
Lisa Quaglia, a social work senior and former Abbot Manor resident, said WestPac would be putting up her and other residents in hotels for the next few nights until a permanent arrangement could be found.
Quaglia had been told the water damage in their apartment was because of a faulty sprinkler system. Even prior to discovering the water damage, however, the apartment was in severe disarray when Quaglia and her roommate first entered, she said.
"When we first moved in here there was trash from the previous tenant," Quaglia said. "There was facial hair covering one of the bathroom sinks. It was not cleaned, I don't even know if it was walked through.... To stick us in an apartment that they clearly, clearly did not inspect at all is just absolutely ridiculous. It's poor management, it's negligence, incompetence, words can't even describe how frustrating this process has been."
Lewter was unavailable for comment Thursday afternoon.
With a dreary overcast rain, the last residents of Abbot Manor apartments shuffled out of the building, clutching boxes full of their belongings and whatever else they could fit in their car trunks.
Abbot Manor was condemned on March 31 for extensive water and mold damage to the building, including incidents of falling drywall.
Kasey Mackley, a zoology senior, had noticed issues with her apartment since January, particularly water damage along what turned out to be a water pipe. The suddenness of the evacuation order, however, is what has caused Mackley the most stress.
"We found out really last minute," Mackley said. "My roommates either had to leave work or call of work yesterday, miss class, I was supposed to have an exam this morning. We didn't get done moving things until late last night and obviously we're back here early in the morning."
Anne Abendroth, a fifth year journalism and media information senior, was also blindsided by the abrupt evacuation notice.
"I got a phone call and let it go to voicemail and then I listened to the voicemail," Abendroth said. "I saw actually the press said that we had until 5:00 to be out and I like freaked out cause, like, I need to go get my apartment together."
Abendroth's father, Joel Abendroth, was assisting in the move-out. He was open in discussing his daughter's predicament, upset over the circumstances. Offhandedly he mentioned the city has been much more helpful than the apartment complex in handling the situation.
Mackley and other residents said those who were living in Abbot Manor were to be relocated to either The Rocks or The Village at Chandler Crossings. Both Mackey and Abendroth were left in the dark regarding how long they will be required to stay there.
"We don't really know what the situation is," Mackley said. "We were told by our management that it would be a week or possibly longer than that before we get back in. From the sounds of it, as far as the city is concerned it doesn't sound like we're going to be back in the apartment complex anytime soon."
WestPac Campus Communities, the holding company for Abbot Manor and other apartment complexes, was cited with 16 violations after an inspection by East Lansing city officials in mid-January.
Annette Irwin, housing and university relations administrator for East Lansing, was quoted as saying the total shutdown of an apartment complex was quite rare. A roof replacement is scheduled for April 5, according to the Lansing State Journal.
In the article, Irwin said interior remediation would need to take place after the roof repairs before tenants could be allowed to move back in.
WestPac Campus Communities was unable to be reached for comment as of Thursday morning.