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Students relocated with little notice due to maintenance problems at UT dorm

Thirteen floors of the Dobie Twenty21 tower were still off limits as students expected to move in this week.

AUSTIN, Texas — Dozens of students at the University of Texas’s newest on-campus residence hall were told last-minute they would have to be relocated due to extensive maintenance problems at the building as the fall semester begins.

The university purchased the 27-story Dobie Twenty21 in October 2021 for around $104 million as an affordable on-campus housing option for students. Before that, Dobie Twenty21 was the only private dorm that was part of the UT campus. The tower was built in 1972.

In 2019, Dobie executive director Ashley Holloway told KVUE the tower was going through renovations to accommodate students and growth.

According to KVUE’s media partners at the Austin American-Statesman, UT began addressing some of the building’s maintenance problems about four months after the purchase, including washer and dryer issues, ventilation and plumbing.

But UT spokesperson Mike Rosen told the Statesman that an inspection of the building this summer, which included rooms that had been previously occupied, revealed “extensive” HVAC and plumbing issues. The university proceeded to evacuate a few dozen students who were living in the dorm over the summer in an attempt to finish repairs before the fall semester. Those repairs are still ongoing.

Some students who were expecting to move into Dobie this week were given new room assignments elsewhere in the building or in other UT residence halls, the Statesman reported. Some of those students were separated from the roommates they were scheduled to live with.

Repairs include pipe insulation, HVAC system leaks, clogged pipes, replacing bathtubs and sinks and replacing damaged wallboard, according to the Statesman. The total cost of the repairs has not been revealed.

Floors 15 to 27 remain unoccupied due to the construction, which is expected to be completed within a few weeks. Students who were relocated will be able to move into Dobie when their rooms become available.

See the full report on the Statesman website.


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