“We have to get out now”; UNCG students displaced after Greensboro apartment ceiling collapsed; condemned building

GREENSBORO, NC (WGHP) – Several students are displaced after their apartment ceiling cracks in Greensboro.

The damage was so severe that the two apartments concerned are now condemned. This happened at the Block 43 apartments on Merritt Drive, near UNC Greensboro.

“We have lost our house, we have lost our possessions, we have nowhere to go,” said Danielle Caiola, a junior at UNCG. “It was so uncomfortable living there and of course just as we were starting to settle in our ceiling cracked.”

City officials told FOX8 that there were nearly 150 people inside the unit above Caiola around 1:30 a.m. on October 27.

Caiola and her roommates said they heard loud music and kicks before a light fixture fell and the ceiling collapsed around the kitchen.

“They’re having a party and they’re like stomping and it breaks,” a 911 caller said. “It’s like dangerous.”

Caiola ran outside to warn people from above. No one was reported injured.

“We felt like we had to get out now and that’s when our whole ceiling cracked above our heads,” she said. “We ended up not being able to sleep, not going for our test the next morning. We were running without sleep, without food, we were exhausted.

Adhesive tape surrounds the two apartments condemned by the city.

Greensboro’s Community Improvement Division manager Troy Powell told FOX8 the apartment will need to be rebuilt.

“Floor systems are not designed for this large capacity of people in a small space,” said Powell. “The failures of these floor systems happened and luckily they eliminated them just in time. “

The teams have temporarily stabilized the apartment. Block 43, which belongs to Varsity Campus, accommodated the displaced students in a hotel until Monday.

Varsity Campus CEO Jerry Wojenski shared this statement with FOX8:

“We immediately hired a structural engineer to assess the safety and condition of the units after the incident. For now, the units will remain vacant until we can obtain the appropriate permits from the City to rebuild the apartment units. Once the units have been rebuilt, we will have our structural engineer and the City inspected in order to obtain a new certificate of occupancy.

We are currently offering alternative housing within the community to tenants who have been displaced. We work with each tenant on a fair resolution given the circumstances.

Our rental contract does not allow more than 10 people. There are also other provisions including noise violations that were in default of the rental agreement.

We reminded tenants that this type of behavior will not be tolerated in this community. “

Students were offered separate accommodation. Caiola and her roommates told FOX8 they wouldn’t back down under the circumstances.

“We already knew who we were living with and just COVID overall, we don’t know if these people are vaccinated or not,” said Annette Medina, junior at UNCG. “We don’t know if they’re having these parties that might crack another ceiling.”

They plan to commute between their parents’ home in the Triangle and UNCG until they find a new place to live.

“We all want them to terminate the lease on their terms, so it doesn’t affect our rental history and our credits,” Caiola said. “We just want to be released from this apartment, we don’t want to have anything to do with them.”

Wojenski told FOX8 that they are dealing with the situation with the tenants responsible for the damage.

This is not the first time that we have reported issues at Block 43 Apartments.

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