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FAMU Office of University Housing provides update on student relocation

Posted at 8:43 PM, Aug 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-30 20:49:02-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida A&M University Office of Housing released a statement Tuesday evening regarding dislocated students from Palmetto Phase III and Polkinghorne Village West.

The university states that all Palmetto Phase III apartments were treated Saturday in regards to a pest infestation and staff has been cleaning and assessing since Monday.

A walk through of these apartments is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 31 and students are expected to return from hotels Sept. 1.

The students of Polkinghorne Village West were displaced after a fire hazard incident on Aug. 26.

FAMU reports that 128 students were displaced due to water damage that affected the first, second, third and fourth floors.

ServPro is currently drying out these apartments and demolishing any saturated walls, the statement reads.

According to the university, shuttle transportation, security and coverage of hotel expenses are being covered for all displace students.

Students are expected to return to Polkinghorne Village by Sept. 3.

The full statement can be found below:

The Florida A&M University Office of University Housing is taking steps to ensure dislocated students from Palmetto Phase III and Polkinghorne Village West can return to campus living as soon as possible.

In response to a pest infestation in the Palmetto Phase III apartments, pest control crews completed treating all the apartments on Saturday. On Monday, staff began an assessment and cleaning. On Tuesday, staff was scheduled to conduct a second wipe down of the apartments and implement pest control and prevention measures.

A walk through is scheduled for Wednesday, August 31 ahead of the students’ anticipated return from local hotels on Thursday, Sept. 1.

On August 26, 2022, a student initiated a fire hazard, which triggered the sprinkler system causing flooding of the fourth floor of Polkinghorne Village West. An investigation found that a student inadvertently put an incense stick that was not totally extinguished into a trashcan, and it caught on fire, setting off the sprinkler head. The sprinkler head worked as designed. No crime was committed. The water damage impacted the first, second, third and fourth floors, forcing the displacement of 128 students.

The University quickly reacted by placing those students in available local hotels while remediation efforts began. Environmental Health & Safety (EHS), Plant Operations Management (POM) and Facilities Construction and Design are working together to repair the damage as expeditiously as possible. ServPro is currently drying out the areas with water damage and demolishing any saturated walls. EHS staff walked through all of the rooms on Saturday and labeled all items recommended for disposal, relocation, and cleaning for the students. Items identified for relocation is to assist with the drying process. EHS also recommended wiping underneath some of the items to minimize potential mold issues. A trailer was placed in front of the building for affected residents to dispose of wet items.

The University is providing shuttle transportation, security, and coverage of hotel expenses for all displaced students. The Venom Shuttle is running every two hours. The Astro Shuttles are running every hour. Students residing in Polkinghorne Village already have a meal plan. Students have been provided property loss forms to indicate damage to personal items.

The Office of Housing staff communicated with students and parents via zoom calls, FAMU emails and Residence Hall GroupMe. Students are expected to return to Polkinghorne Village by Saturday, Sept. 3.

Students impacted by the move who need official class excuses should visit their dean’s office. The Office of University Housing would like to thank the students and parents for their patience and cooperation during this unfortunate incident. We regret the inconvenience.

The University has seen a demand for on-campus housing. In addition to the construction of new residence halls in recent years, FAMU continues to invest in deferred maintenance to Palmetto South and Phase III. The University Master Plan includes new innovative housing incorporating recommendation from students, faculty, and staff.