Gintz Demolition Addressed By Administration

Sam Houston State University officials announced Monday that the demolition schedule for the Gintz Family Apartments has been extended by 10 days, and the university will have space available for displaced residents in another campus housing unit. The move out date has been set for June 10 instead of June 1.

The announcement came at a meeting called to address some of the concerns raised by tenants who were informed weeks earlier of the upcoming demolition of their current home. James Gaertner, university president, said that demolition of the Gintz Apartments would take place immediately following the end of the Spring 2005 semester.

"It is our intention, and we are quite certain that this is going to happen, that we will demolish the Gintz Apartments this summer," said Gaertner. "At present it looks like they will be demolished after June 10."

The move out date has been postponed from its original date of June 1, as Heather Thielemann, vice president for enrollment management, said that the university wanted to "be aware of when Huntsville ISD lets out and so that [students] are done with finals to give [them] time to move."

The university has worked to provide assistance to the residents of Gintz who may be having problems finding suitable, affordable living arrangements.

" The options that we have worked out at this time, are for families to move over to Colony Apartments," said Gaertner. "There will be an increase in rent of about $100 a month but you would be able to live in Colony for the year."

Thielemann said that the rent increase is necessary because that is the rate charged to students already living in Colony.

Gaertner stated the demolition of Gintz is timely and necessary.

" The reason for doing it, I think, is obvious. The apartments are getting to be old and pretty hard to keep up," he said. "They are old enough that when I was a graduate student, my wife and I lived in the Gintz Apartments."

Gaertner said that the university decided the apartments have safety issues because of their age and that their renovation would not be cost effective. And while the university does have plans to replace Gintz with newer housing, there is nothing definite at this time.

"We are not certain about what is going to happen, but it is our intention to build student housing where Gintz is and either somewhere or in close proximity to build some other family housing. We don't have it approved by anyone yet. So we must get the approvals before we can do any of this," said Gaertner.

Thielemann also said that modifications would be made to the Colony Apartments to accommodate families with small children.

" We will put child protective [barriers] on the bottom floors for families who have small children," she said. "The porches will be what you consider childproof as well as a play area with the existing play equipment at Gintz. Those are the things that will be going on, though we have not yet set a start date for them."

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