Art students wait to return to dorms

    More than 500 students still can’t return to the Art Institute of Philadelphia student housing that was evacuated Monday after a carbon monoxide alarm.

    More than 500 students still can’t return to the Art Institute of Philadelphia student housing that was evacuated Monday after a carbon monoxide alarm.

    Listen:
    [audio: 100203spdorms.mp3]

    The City’s Department of License and Inspections has flagged multiple violations at the dorm, saying the building’s heating system caused the excess carbon monoxide. Inspectors also discovered a fire alarm system that is not working. The building on Broad and Chestnut streets is owned by Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation. The New York-based company did not return calls for comment.

    Student Aaron Vandervoort says he’s angry that he only had about ten minutes to gather his things before the surprise Monday morning evacuation. He sought refuge on an empty Septa bus before the Art Institute put him up at the Hilton Garden Inn in Center City. He says he lives with three other students, who each pay $900 dollars a month to live in a building that has roaches.

    Vandervoort: I could see if I was paying $600 dollars a month by myself in an apartment off campus, and I had a roach. But $900 dollars a month, he’s paying $900 dollars a month, that’s already $1800 dollars, there’s no reason why a roach should even walk past our door.

    A spokeswoman for the Art Institute says they have done their best to find students temporary shelter. It’s unclear how soon the 500 will be able to return to the building. The Institute has 3,600 students.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.