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Lincoln University students still being housed in hotel

Dozens of Lincoln University students in Jefferson City were still being forced to live in a hotel Wednesday, a month after the promised deadline that they would be able to move onto campus.

This school year, Lincoln University has a larger new student population that it has had in year’s past.

About 100 students had to be put in off-campus housing like the America’s Best Value Inn on Jefferson Street.

Those students were told they would be moved onto campus sometime in September. But the university has not had enough on-campus rooms become available so 43 students are still living in the hotel.

In August, some of the students reached out to ABC 17 saying they were unhappy with their living conditions at the America’s Best Value Inn.

“Whenever we get a complaint from students, we contact the proprietor because they, of course, are the ones that are there on base all the time, and then they will go in and check whichever room it is that a student has a complaint about.” Misty Young with Lincoln University said. “They have yet to find any issues.”

ABC 17 checked in with the Cole County Health Department Wednesday. No more complaints have been filed against the hotel since ABC 17’s last report in August, according to the health department.

If more rooms on campus do not become available, the university may have the same problem next semester, according to Young.

“We’re already trying to make plans for next semester,” Young said. “We anticipate that we might have a similar issue next semester.”

But the university has a plan for next school year.

“We have Martin Hall, which we took offline three or four years ago,” Young said. “And so we will be able to bring that back online in August of 2016, so that will help alleviate the problem as we move into a new academic year.”

Martin Hall will be able to house up to an additional 130 students. Right now, the university is working on renovating the residence hall to meet ADA requirements and to make mechanical, plumbing and safety upgrades.

As for the long-range plan, Young said Lincoln University hopes to open a new residence hall. But before the university can ask the state for more funding for the hall, the university has to show a minimum of three years of data that proves there is overcrowding.

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