It’s a notorious problem that has seemingly continued unabated due to the growth of Bozeman and enrollment at Montana State — a shortage of student housing. Problems with unfinished construction and rowdy behavior by students off-campus has caused headaches for some residents of the newly-opened, nearby housing complex on South 11th Avenue, Stadium View Student Lodging.
In the past few weeks work has resumed in the apartment complex on finishing the community area and locks were installed on the doors to the building to increase security. Carpeting is set to be laid in the hallways of the buildings to help dampen some of the noise of cohabitation. Stadium View Community Manager Emily Green relayed that Stadium View hired a local security firm and contacted Bozeman Police about doing patrols in the area to discourage loitering of non-residents in the complex on weekends. Green told us that while they would like to see the projects finished quickly, “We are kind of at the mercy of our subcontractors.”
Matthew Bussey, a political science major from Washington, moved into Stadium View when they opened a few days before classes started on Aug. 24. Bussey was one of many students who responded to advertisements last year promising luxury accommodations and a communal student living atmosphere at the off-campus complex. After seeing pictures and descriptions of luxury accommodations at other sites around the country, Bussey agreed to sign up sharing an apartment with another friend and roommates. But now, Bussey said he’s disappointed by construction delays that have left many of the promised luxury accommodations unfinished and inaccessible. Overall, he said he feels like the company over-promised on what it would actually be able to deliver residents upon move in. Bussey said that although he is unhappy with some aspects of living at Stadium View, he does not place blame on the management, who he believes are making the most of a bad situation. This sentiment was echoed in part by Green. While Green acknowledged some of the problems with the construction and behavior of tenants, she said they are doing their best to address the issues. Green admitted the hurried timetable when school started, but stated that they wanted to focus on getting people moved in so they would have places to live first, and then work on the other promised parts of the complex. Green stated that only one building in the complex ended up moving in later than they were promised through their lease, and those who couldn’t move in when school started were provided alternate housing or reimbursed for rent for the delays. Students who had issues with their apartments were given Visa gift cards for their convenience. Green pointed to several common areas of the complex that have already been completed and are open for resident use, such as the gaming rooms and a gym. While Stadium View is one of the most prominent housing projects students have complained of, it is far from the first. Between rental companies complaining of immature and partying college students, students complaining of unfair charges and fees from landlords, a city struggling to keep up with the growth of the university and city and a worker shortage that makes finding workers in the construction and service industries very difficult, the situation is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.