Paine College lacking dorm space; students put in hotel

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News 12 at 11 o'clock / Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013

Paine College
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Dozens of Paine College students have started their school year living in a hotel room.

Paine College didn't have enough dorm rooms to accommodate all the incoming freshmen, so they had to put them up somewhere else.

Freshman Paul Green was one of them but spent the day Wednesday moving into his new dorm room.

"It was long, hard, stressful," he said.

Students have been on campus for almost a week, but many are still at the hotel.

"We were at a Quality Inn and I was there from Thursday until [Wednesday]," said Green. "I thought we were gonna stay for two weeks or something, but then they moved the girls out of their dorms."

They've been shuffling around, working to get every student back on campus.

"We had a tremendous amount of students coming in, and one of the biggest requests was housing, so placing students in housing, we've been working through that," said Brandon Brown, vice president for Institutional Advancement.

He says they have over hundred more students than last year.

"Any time that you are in need of more housing seems to be a good problem for any college to have," Brown said.

But the biggest problem this year is that many of the students didn't register for housing on time.

"Any time you have an individual who comes the weekend of the institution's registration to say, 'Hey I didn't pay my housing fees, I didn't pay the deposit fee, but I want housing,' the college just can't say OK and create space," Brown said.

Brown says they should have all of it figured out by Friday. He says every student was notified of deadlines, but many just waited and now they are working with them.

News 12 planned to ask Green whether he registered by the deadline or not but was interrupted by Paine Campus Security during the off-campus interview. An administrator later apologized for that interruption and said students are allowed to talk to News 12 off campus if they want to.

Right now, the college can house around 550 students, but in the next 60 to 90 days, they are beginning construction on a new dorm. That will add around 200 more rooms for students, which is something they say is going to be critical as the college continues to grow.

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